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 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 pill scene in Limitless:
What can we learn?
Accumulating firepower into
your creative arsenal. Eddie’s new drug allows him to unlock one hundred percent of his
brainpower. He finds himself able to learn much faster and recall memories from
his distant past. It’s almost like his brain has its own sort of cloud, which
stores data, memories and even the most menial of details. At a moment’s
notice, a surge of brilliance comes up to meet him, and he’s able to achieve
amazing feats. The question is, does this drug exist in real life? Adderall and
psychostimulant users might say yes. Psychedelic users might say yes
too. Those substances have been clinically proven to enhance brainpower and
performance, controversies notwithstanding. On the other hand, there are tons
of people who have never popped a pill in their lives, and they’re profoundly
and perpetually lucid and focused and productive and energized. They access
flow like it’s going out of style. They achieve cognitive ecstasy on a daily
basis. And so, whether limitlessness is chemically induced or naturally
accessed isn’t the point. What matters is that integration, meaning, employing the whole of our personality, talents,
gifts, memories and experiences, is a possibility for everyone. Because each of us walks around with an
incredible tool kit. And every day, we build and build upon it, trusting that
it will eventually be recognized and put to use. The difference maker is,
instead of letting the tools rust, some of us keep employing them any way that
we can, until our time comes. How do you
embroider the accumulated threads of daily observation into a striking tapestry
of innovative thinking?
Hedging your creative bets. Patience can be a invaluable asset
for the artist. The capacity to delay gratification, the willingness stay in
game long enough to still be around when the world is ready for us, cannot be
stressed enough. Then again, there’s a fine line between fertile idleness and
waiting in vain. And so, we’re obliged to ask ourselves what waiting is getting
in the way of it. Because sometimes patience degrades into myopia. Sometimes we
become so patient, waiting so long for the big things, that we let the small
things slip right by us. And we inadvertently create a limited field a vision
that shields us from exciting new opportunities. Eddie’s drug allows him see
everything from every perspective. There isn’t anything he doesn’t interact
with. The pill offers him the ultimate awareness plan. Anew
lens for interacting with the world. That’s
something each of us can take away from this movie.That whatever comes to us, good or
bad, we still have a responsibility to engage with it somehow. Even if all we
do is notice it, we stand in the grace of nonaction. Because it’s still another
chance to dance with the universe. To fully participate in the world around us.Are you so busy waiting that you’re
unable to notice the opportunities that lead to success?
Ride the energetic wave.The visual effects in this movie
are stunning. According to an interview with thedirector,
he wanted the audience to always feel what the character was feeling, zooming
along with him. And since the character felt like he was in complete control,
the technical aspects of the movie corresponded. The visuals were much more
polished, the lighting was softer and they used wider lenses, so it’s all very
precise, like you’re actually inside his head. In fact, if you read the
comments under the video, people attest to the realism of these visuals. They
recall memorable moments of high performance and flow in their own lives,
saying that the movie perfectly illustrates how it feels to feel limitless.
Eddie’s right. He’s not high. He’s not wired. Just clear. And so, the true
moment of conception isn’t when he pops the pill, but when starts channeling
the newfound focus that his pill provided. That’s the whole point. Not spending
time in our brains as if it were the
destination, but using our brains in the service of the work we intend to
accomplish. It’s a tool, not a hangout.What
kind of relationship do you have with your own mind?
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.
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