That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.
And so, in this blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.
Today's clip comes from the preparation scene from Little Giants:
What can we learn?
Create an abundance of confidence capital. Modern psychology research warns us about the dangers of the digital dopamine loop. How getting sucked into the online ego vortex of monitoring the world’s reaction to our work can stifle productivity and deteriorate mental health. Then again, we’re all adults. We’re all old enough to make our own decisions about which drugs, if any, we choose to use. Even dopamine. Because when it comes to that particular neurotransmitter, there’s something to be said about judicious use. Because that hit dopamine can be a confidence building action. Especially in the early stages of a project or even a career, when we take our confidence wherever we can get it. Those little spikes in self assurance go a long way. Carlin used to say that although he stopped smoking pot, he always had a joint nearby. Because when he was writing and really pouring it out, one hit was all he needed. One hit, and it was punch up time. With that judicious use, there was some value. Dopamine works the same way. When we discover that somebody commented on or spread the word about our work, that experience ignites a chain of confidence. The world’s affirmation of our work changes our frame of reference in how we think about our own abilities. And it’s just enough of a boost to keep the story moving forward. What confidence building action could you taken this week?
Small victories first. Mastery is highly overrated. Life isn’t always about being the best at what you do, it’s about being the best of who you are. That’s enough. And once you become okay with that being enough, life is a lot more satisfying and lot less stressful. Of course, you still have to believe. You still have to own your value. Because when you get out on the field, and your confidence in your competence is not in tact, you’ll get murdered out there. This team of underdogs has zero confidence. Rashid, for example, couldn’t catch a football if he had glue on his hands. And he’s supposedly the team’s star receiver. So during practice, the coach teaches him to run passing routes with rolls of toilet paper, which he snags every time. Coach found a way to lower the threat level of the task of catching to build his player’s confidence. Score. This movie reminds us to learn to learn to love the drudgery of small, simple tasks that push us in the right direction. Because each of us gains confidence in ourselves once we’ve proved to ourselves that we can be successful. And so, every victory counts. There’s no such thing as small win. A win is a win is a win. What micro accomplishes would help build your confidence?
Expand your energetic relationship with the world. Pregame rituals are essentials. Whether you’re playing football, performing comedy or painting murals, everybody needs a good on ramp. A routine that gets them in the mood, in the flow and in the zone, so that by the time they actually hit the highway of life, they’re traveling at the same speed as traffic, and can navigate the road effectively. I’ve heard urban legends about athletes who sleep in the opposing team's uniforms the night before the game, perform aboriginal dances on the field, obsessively line up all the water bottles on the sidelines, eating fistfuls of grass before walking on the field, even urinating on their own equipment in the locker room. Whatever works. The weirder the better. If a ritual helps you communicate with yourself and expand your energetic relationship to the world, it’s worthwhile. In fact, it’s less important what we do, and more important that we do it. Because rituals matter. It’s the conscious practice of mindfulness, the ceremonial acknowledgment of importance, and the intentional celebration of meaning, which keeps us focused and grounded and fueled and connected. Something that’s especially useful when the enemy aims to annihilate us. What rituals are you known for?
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