Rituals play a central role in religion because they provide a framework for worship, even when faith is low.
The same could be said about the creative process. The thriving artist crafts a menu of carefully defined, highly structured behaviors into his daily and weekly schedules because he knows he can’t count on inspiration and discipline alone. He knows rituals create a foundation of security when faith is low.
And so, his rituals insure that he spends as little conscious energy as possibly where it is not absolutely necessary, leaving him free to strategically focus the energy available to him in creative ways.
Schwartz’s seminal book on enduring high performance says it best. Will and discipline push you to a particular behavior, but ritual pulls at you. Even when you’re tired and uninspired and anxious. Ritual reduces your number of daily decisions, creates a foundation of security and activates the creative subroutine in your head.
That’s why I listen to the exact same ambient techno record every morning when I sit down to start writing. It’s an associative trigger. A trusted framework that staves off the tyranny of moods. A nonnegotiable construct that does the heavy lifting for me. A finely calibrated mechanism to help me take advantage of limited resources.
The only caveat is, designing a ritual takes skill.
Debono’s brilliant book on taking control reminds us that a ritual should always be a little big artificial. Because if it’s too natural, then it’s easy to forget that it’s a ritual. And so, as you create a framework for when faith is low, be careful not to make it too easy on yourself. Taking a shower as soon as you get up in the morning isn’t a ritual, but treating that shower as a meditation in which you consciously avoid all negative thoughts about your upcoming day, is.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…Which highly structured and carefully defined daily behaviors keep you creating consistently?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For a copy of the list called, “23 Ways to Learn a Lot At a Really Young Age,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!
* * * *
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
“Scott Ginsberg’s employee training on approachability was the absolute perfect fit, and completely exceeded everyone’s expectations, including mine. The feedback we received from our team was that this was hands down the best training they have ever been to. Scott found out what was important to us and gave us several options for training solutions. I would highly recommend him for a variety of industries, and I would happily work with him again!” –Anne Conway, PHR | Corporate Director of Training and Development, | Lodging Hospitality Management
Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!