Today while driving to work, I heard a story about cheese and how it helped one man think up the picture-in-picture feature for television! “How bizarre,” you might think. “Why would cheese help him do this? It has nothing to do with tv!”
Exactly! Let me explain.
So, the whole concept is to think of a random object to help you come up with ideas for what you are presently working on. I call it, “The Sneak.” It helps to get your mind to a place where it is able to move, spread out, and breathe. But, the odd thing is this place cannot be approached directly.
We have all been there, you are in the shower and, out of the blue a great idea pops into your head. Or, you are out running and BAM you find the answer you were looking for without even trying to. Why then when we sit down at our desks or computers, all the great ideas seem to vanish?
I have found, and apparently many other have as well, when I focus directly on something I am trying to create, it often sits just out of my sight. I see it as a shadow, but cannot identify its form. It is right there. But then when I look at it, poof, it disappears.
However, when I let my mind focus on it indirectly, when I take “The Sneak” approach, I walk into the idea or solution like fog. Suddenly it surrounds me, but don’t try to grab it too fast! It will dissipate.
Let me give you an example.
When I write, if I sit down at the computer and stare at it and think, “What should I write about now?” I can’t think of a single thing to write! However, if I just start writing, not even directly thinking about the words which are tumbling out through my fingers, my mind eventually lands on the words that want to come out.
Sometimes I find myself hardly looking at the screen during this time. I feel like a hunter. I must be quick, but incredibly gently and quiet.
The words come out fast at first. They twist and turn and tangle often forming a great big nothing. They just sit there unformed. But suddenly without warning, they start to form and I see not just a shadow but an idea that I resonate with and I think “Yes, that is what has been tumbling around in my mind and heart!” I am able to then begin my writing.
I am able to access that part of my brain which seems to spin on its heels and run when put under strict demands to create. I am able to write.
It was the same for the man with the cheese. It is the same reason why some of our best ideas come in the shower or while exercising or while driving down a new road. It is a beautiful place but can often only be found as one who stumbles upon a breathtaking view while wandering off the well-worn trail.
Question: Have you ever used “The Sneak” to help you in your creative pursuits?