Don't just consume. Integrate.

Man reading on a bench in the dark

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Your first job when you get home with the groceries is to put them in their places. A common practice that helps you keep things neat and easy to find.

Consuming content involves the same routine. You've bought some ideas - now it's time to put them where they belong. You got to find each item a place in your latticework of knowledge, beliefs, and principles.

It doesn't come naturally, though.

The process you go through finding a place for each of your groceries resembles the categorization process of ideas in your head. You get the idea out of the "bag", think about it for a while, and decide "what is it". Next, you find at least one similar entity that's already been filed in your mental cabinet.

Now, you must express the link between the two ideas somehow. Be it writing or drawing - you have to come up with some visual representation.

It won't come easy. Iterate until both ideas click.

It might take you from a few minutes to a couple of months to properly materialize the new idea in the context of your previous knowledge on the paper.

Don't just hoard knowledge and ideas. Instead, integrate it. Reflect on it.