Moments of Conception 166: The Gozer Scene from Ghostbusters

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 Gozer scene in Ghostbusters:

A little
confidence goes a long way.
thirteen years ago, the largest news outlet in the country interviewed me. Their
article dubbed me as the world record holder of wearing nametags. I laughed out
loud. Forget about running the four minute mile, this was a real accomplishment. I had officially
arrived. And even though the world record holder of wearing nametags wasn’t exactly what I was going for, it sounded
credible and interesting and memorable. And since I was just starting my
career, I took my credibility where I could get it. So I embraced it. I began
including that moniker in my marketing materials and bio. And it just stuck.
That’s what I became known for. And the strange part is, people never tired to
prove me wrong. Because when you focus on something nobody else has bothered to
think about, there’s no competition. It’s virgin territory. When you create a
category where you define the rules and set all the standards, you catch a
foothold and slide into pole position. And so, I ultimately became the world
record of wearing nametags, not because there was a sanctioning body to
legitimize my achievement, but because I told people that I was. Confidently.
Over and over. And they believed me. It’s funny how that works. When somebody
asks you if you’re a god, and you say yes, nobody questions you. But when you
buckle under the pressure, fumbling to articulate your answer, everybody smells
the fear. How might you
persevere and extend your confidence?

I had a big
imagination, and wanted to put it to work.
Vonnegut once said that the triumph of most things is a matter of organization. I agree.
But I also think that the failure of most things is a matter of imagination.
It’s our lackof
creativity that hinders success.And unless we began taking charge of how we use our
brains, we’ll never achieve it. Maisel’sworkon brainstorms has been transformative for me. He taught me notto spend time in my brain as if the brain were a destination,
but to use my brain in the service of the work I intend to accomplish. For
example, when I’m practicing yoga, I have a tendency to put the pedal to the
metal inside my head. Every thought and idea plan and problem comes thrashing
to the surface at once. In fact, I’m almost shocked at just how many thoughts
can run through my head at any given moment. Now, most yoga instructors would
tell me to focus on the breath, stay in the present and let my thoughts come
and go like passing clouds in the sky. But as an experiment, I recently tried a
the reverse approach. Instead of attempting to force calm my mind, I started
wondering to myself, how could I channel my thoughts into something more
meaningful? And so, I started running creative visualizations. During class, I
would use my imagination to build a story in my head. A mental movie with
pictures and sounds and smells and other sensations associated with reaching a
particular goal. And I would hold that fantasy until class was over. The
experience was blissful. As a result of biting into the visualization, I was
able to drown out the chatter of my mind. By tuning into the exciting movie I’d
created for myself, I experienced a completely different kind of relaxation. To what extent could you let you brain race,
but still be in control of it?

Terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought. Gozer initially appears as a woman, but her voice
echoes that the destructor will follow, taking a form chosen by the team. So
that’s their challenge. Don’t think of
anything yet. Clear your mind.
Because they only get one chance at this.
But’s too late. The choice has been made. The traveler has come. Ray couldn’t
help himself. It just popped in there. He tried to think. He inadvertently
recalled a beloved corporate mascot from his childhood. Something that could
never, ever possibly destroy them. And the hundred foot marshmallow man begins
attacking the city. It’s a classic case of ironic process theory. Harvard
cognitive scientists defined this as the psychological process whereby
deliberate attempts to suppress certain thoughts make them more likely to
surface in one’s thoughts. For example, don’t think of a white bear. Now, what
are you thinking about? Of course. A white bear. That’s ironic process theory. But
the good new is, the researchers found that individuals do have a capacity to successfully suppress thoughts. Not by trying
not to think, but by focusing on a specifically prepared distraction or object.
It’s a  process in thought suppression
experiments referred to as focused distraction.Wegnerexplains that picking and focusing on an absorbing
distractor, like a car from your childhood, helps avoid unwanted thoughts. And
if you allow yourself to think in controlled ways on and around the thing that
you want to avoid, he says, then it will be less likely to pop back into your
thoughts at other times. Which thought
might release the peddle on your racing brain?


What did you learn from this movie clip?


For a copy of the list called, “22 Unexpected Ways to Help People,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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