I recently read a very insightful blog-post from a strategist.

It said that the main problem strategists had was they only lived within their bubble.

He suggested strategists needed to broaden their horizons.

So don’t just read the Guardian, try the Telegraph.

Don’t just listen to the latest rock music, try opera.

Don’t just watch tennis, try watching rugby.

As far as it goes this is great advice, the problem is it doesn’t go far enough, it stays within the middle-class bubble.

The Telegraph, opera, and rugby, are just another sort of middle class, you’ve just moved from one side of the bubble to the other.

If you really want to expand your horizons you need to get outside that bubble.

So instead of the Guardian read the Sun.

Instead of the latest rock-music, listen to Harry Champion, Bessie Smith, Cole Porter, or Grand Ol’ Oprey.

Instead of tennis or rugby, go to a football game and go the pub after with the fans.

Look beyond what you already know you don’t know.

Investigate what you DON’T know you don’t know.

Don’t just dabble, explore the world of what is sneeringly referred to as ‘gammon’.

Go to a pie & mash shop, where they’re not only a different class to you but a different age too.

Uncomfortable as it may be, try mixing with right-wing, working-class, boomers.

There are more of those consumers than there are left-wing, middle class, millennials.

Experience the world outside the pre-packaged middle class life.

Here’s how it works, imo.

When my kids were small, they used to love going to the cinema.

But their favourite part wasn’t the film itself, it was choosing their sweets beforehand.

The cinema had a large ‘pick & mix’ section, a wall filled with containers of different sweets.

They got an empty paper bag and filled it with whatever sweets they wanted from whichever container, then weighed the bag and paid.

It cost the same as a pre-packaged carton of Maltesers, or Skittles, or Cadburys, but the difference was they got to make up exactly the mix they wanted.

I used to love watching my little daughter carefully choosing 3 milk bottles, and 2 jelly snakes, one coconut whirl, two fried eggs, maybe a piece of liquorice, and getting the exact colour jelly-beans she wanted.

Half of the value, half the fun, was choosing precisely what she wanted.

She could have bought a box of pre-packaged sweets for the same price, but they’d all be the same, it would have been someone else’s idea of what she should have had.

I tried to teach my kids that was how life ought to be lived: pick & mix.

Don’t get stuck on a set of rails and do what’s expected of you in order to fit in.

Of course, if you’re happy to settle for a pre-packaged life, fine, but you don’t have to.

You can make your own life up as you go, a bit of this, some of that, a couple of those.

Who cares if no one else agrees, it’ll be tailor-made to be exactly right for you.

Dave Dye told me about an advertising typographer who was in a band with David Bowie (who was then called David Jones, before he was famous).

He said Bowie/Jones didn’t really fit in with the rest of the band.

They were all listening to the current rock & roll music, but Bowie was listening to everything from Tibetan throat music,  to German brass bands, to whale-songs.

He didn’t fit in because he wasn’t listening to what was expected.

So his influences came from the world outside rock & roll, a much broader world.

The more you explore life the more options you’ve got, and the further apart those options  the greater your possibilities.

There’s a quote that everyone, especially strategists, ought to have above their desks: “The unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates.