Find research that..
has nothing to do with what you’re working on, but is interesting
looks like what you’re interested in, but is different in content
is similar to what you’re interested in, but is very different
is in a very different discipline or medium, but has a similar idea to what you’re interested in
is written by someone else who made something similar
is from a different perspective experiencing your work (a viewer, etc)
is deep within academic research understanding what you’re interested in (academic papers, journals)
is on twitter or instagram or other social media, writing about what you’re interested in
is self-published, a zine, word on the street
wikipedia articles that are related to what you’re talking about
is historical work, written at least 10, 20, or 40 years ago about your topic
is written by someone who is least connected to your topic
written by someone who is most connected to your topic
written by someone who isn’t white
written by someone who isn’t a cis man
written from an adjacent industry
written by someone much older than you are
written by someone much younger than you are
written from deep experience
Having a prepared mind isn’t about having strong opinions. This seems counterintuitive because the tech blogosphere and podcast-sphere is all about having an opinion on everything. The truly intelligent and savviest people I have met define having a prepared mind very differently. It is about knowing enough to know you don’t know enough so that you can ask quality questions and be a good sounding board.
"Many gnostics, then would have agreed in principle with Ludwig Feuerbach, the nineteenth-century psychologist, that "theology is really anthropology" ... The gnostic movement shared certain affinities with contemporary methods of exploring the self through psychotherapeutic techniques. Both gnosticism and psychotherapy value, above all, knowledge—the self-knowledge which is insight. They agree that, lacking this, a person experiences the sense of being driven by impulses he does not understand. Valentinus expressed this in a myth. He tells how the world originated when Wisdom, the Mother of all beings, brought it forth out of her own suffering ... Few psychiatrists would disagree with the saying attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas: "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you." ... According to the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus ridiculed those who thought of the "Kingdom of God" in literal terms, as if it were a specific place. "If those who lead you say to you, 'Look, the Kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds will arrive there before you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,'" then, he says, the fish will arrive before you. Instead, it is a state of self-discovery."