All creativity begins with the moment of conception.
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 new 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 interview scene in Pollock:
What can we learn?
Rituals to accompany your creative journey. Pollock works from within. He trusts himself. He knows that in the creative process, nothing is guaranteed, but nothing is gained by predicting the worse, either. So why dismiss rather than affirm his chances? He proves that when we point ourselves in the direction of possibility, optimistically announcing that our internal, external and cosmic resources are available to us, we increase the odds of success. When I started my career as a writer, I began using a series of affirmations and short cognitions. They pointed my mind in the direction I wanted it to go. They talked me into a more trusting frame of mind. And they loosened the grip of my negative thoughts. One example from my daily centering sequence is the phrase I trust my resources. When I recite those four words throughout the day, I draw a single deep breath, using my respiration as a ten second container for that specific thought, matching the rhythm of my respiration to the symmetry of the words. It’s a small, simple tool, but it works wonders because of accumulation. Like any routine practiced multiple times a day for several years, it has a profound effect on your mindset. What ritual could you employ to intentionally support your ability to trust yourself?
Trust comes from experience. In the water purification process, the goal is to remove all the undesirable chemicals, biological contaminants and gases before the water is fit for human consumption. Interestingly, trusting yourself works the same way. In order to keep trust alive, you must start with making yourself trustworthy. Meaning, you have to endure a process that removes the mental contaminants, like doubt and fear and anxiety, which prevent you from trusting yourself. And that purification process, of course, is creating art. Repetition. Dedicated practice. Daily discipline. Accumulating a track record of trustworthy behaviors that make your more likely to believe in yourself. Pollock trusted his unique style of drip painting, but only because he first spent so many years experimenting with novel tools like enamels and sticks and basting syringes and paint applicators. That was his purification process. He was building a bank of experience that deepened and broadened his trustworthiness. By staying in motion, continually creating everyday, he ultimately accumulated enough experience to trust himself. Do you spend your time building up your strength or worrying about whether or not you're going to become successful?
We become what we expect. When we trust ourselves, we tend to prove ourselves right. When we believe in the availability of our own answers, they tend to show up at the right time. That’s how expectation works. It’s not magic, it’s a psychological primer for future performance. It’s been scientifically proven that there’s a positive correlation between expectation and performance. And so, if we proclaim ourselves as creative and prolific and artistic, then we’re already ahead of the game. What if, then, we started each day of work from the sure place that we were artists, no matter how our current projects were going, no matter what we saw on the page in front of us? What if we announced to ourselves that we were well equipped with sufficient internal assets to be successful? These sorts of expectations can have a profound effect on our attitudes. Because we can’t always wait for overwhelming evidence to trust ourselves. Sometimes we just have to act as if. Do you have a deep belief that everything you’ve experienced in your life, up until this very moment, will sufficiently support whatever you do in the next moment?
What did you learn?
* * * *
What did you learn?
* * * *
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
Now booking for 2014-2015.
Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!