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 destruction scene in Star Wars:
What can we learn?
Move matters to a
higher ground. A pivotal moment in the creative journey is when we finally
let go of the illusion that we can control anything. There is no control. There
is only the work we make. Our job as creators is to put everything we’ve got
into the task of creating, and then let it go. Our job is to focus on the labor, and then let everything else
flow from there. Sound frightening? It
most certainly is. But it’s also freeing. Because there’s a deep release
and relief when we empty ourselves of expectation. And once we stop burning
calories worrying about things we can’t control, our mind is free to move
matters to a higher ground. Specifically, to principal creation, which is the primary work unit of our creative
process. Whether it’s typing words on the screen, writing new melodies on the
piano or clicking the shutter on the camera, principle creation, the one thing
we can control, has finally become job number one. It’s creative nirvana. The imperturbable
stillness of mind after the fires of desire, aversion, and delusion have been extinguished.
Luke is surrendering to the facts of existence. He shuts down his targeting
computer and stops obsessing about hitting the target. And in return, he
actually gains the energy and desire to achieve the impossible. Are you focusing on outcomes or what needs
to be done right now?
Force nothing, allow
your work to lead you. Luke has enemy fighters unloading on him from every
direction, his master’s words of wisdom ringing in the back of his mind, the
base captain screaming into his headset and a limping, smoking droid hanging
off the side of his jet. Talk about a crowded environment. Does your creative
life ever feel like that? If so, that’s normal. Because number of variables
affecting any given outcome is near infinity. If we produce and publish our new
landscape painting, for example, there’s no telling how the marketplace will
respond. They may give it an active resonance, a dull thud or a shattering
silence. It’s completely unpredictable. And so, do we really want to waste time
trying to make that calculation? No. We’re better off staying in motion, making
more art, making more contributions to the world’s reservoir of truth and
beauty. That way, we can allow new opportunities find us through the attraction
of working, not the agony of worrying. The point is, we can’t make things
happen the way we want. We can only create. When
was the last time a more interesting result happened when you decided to go
with the flow?
Just when you get there, there disappears. This four minutes of cinema is
better than all of the prequels combined. I remember replaying this scene over
and over again as a kid, and it still gives me goose bumps three decades later.
What’s interesting is, it wasn’t until my late twenties until I truly
understood the productive and calming power of letting go. Taoists call it the
law of polarity, whereby any over determined action produces its exact
opposite. Like quicksand, the more your struggle to get out, the deeper you
sink. That concept will fundamentally alter the way you do your creative work.
Learning how to turn toward anxiety, instead of trying to eradicate it.
Learning how to view stress as a gift, not a condition. When you work a
nontraditional job with erratic income, sporadic employment, feast or famine cycles and lack of
job security, these kinds of strategies are the closest thing you’ll
ever find to the force. Are you putting
your enemy against the wall, only to force him to fight harder?
What did you learn?
* * * *
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.
Now booking for 2014-2015.
Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!