Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Since they themselves are large mutt type dogs, they thought it would be amusing to pick on the purebred dogs for this very funny joke...(and don't you worry...I'm not really imagining that our dogs did, in fact, have this discussion with me...I am simply playing in a pretend sort of way...).
Oh, that was fun!...and there are more - but they will have to wait until tomorrow. For now, we have some more of the John Cleese creativity lecture. Yay!
...and that's it.Well…
20 minutes to go…
I put that last part in bold because it's worthy of thinking about. It resonates HUGE with me. How about with you?....So, how many women's libbers does it take to change a lightbulb? Answer - 37, one to screw it in - and 36 to make a documentary about it.....How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? The answer - only one, but the lightbulb has really got to want to change....Oh, there is one - just one - other thing that I can say about creativity.There are certain conditions which do make it more likely that you'll get into the Open Mode, and that something creative will occur.More likely… you can't guarantee anything will occur...you might sit around for hours as I did last Tuesday, and ...nothing.Zilch...bupkis....Not a sausage.Nevertheless, I can at least tell you how to get yourselves into the Open Mode. You need five things:One - SpaceTwo - TimeThree - TimeFour - Confidenceand Five - a 22 inch waist!Sorry. My mind was wondering...I'm getting into the open mode too quickly...Instead of a 22 inch waist, we need Humor. I do beg your pardon.Okay, so let's take Space first.You can't become playful and therefore creative if you're under your usual pressures, because to cope with them you've got to be in the Closed Mode, right? So you have to create some space for yourself away from those demands. And that means sealing yourself off.You must make a quiet space for yourself where you will be undisturbed.Next - Time. It's not enough to create space, you have to create your space for a specific period of time. You have to know that your space will last until exactly -say - 3:30 ...and that - at that moment - your normal life will start again.And it's only by having a specific moment when your space starts, and an equally specific moment when your space stops, that you can seal yourself off from the everyday closed mode in which we all habitually operate.And I'd never realized how vital this was until I read a historical study of play by a Dutch historian called Johan Huizinga and in it he says "Play is distinct from ordinary life, both as to locality and duration. This is its main characteristic: its secludedness, its limitedness. Play begins and then (at a certain moment) it is over. Otherwise, it's not play."So. Combining the first two factors we create an oasis of quiet for ourselves by setting boundaries of space and of time.Now creativity can happen, because play is possible when we are separate from everyday life.So, you've arranged to take no calls, you've closed your door, you've sat down somewhere comfortable, you take a couple of deep breaths ...and if you're anything like me, after you've pondered some problem that you want to turn into an opportunity for about 90 seconds...you find yourself thinking:"Oh I forgot I've got to call Jim… oh! And I must tell Tina that I need the report on Wednesday and not Thursday...which means I must move my lunch with Joe...And Damn! I haven't called St. Paul's about getting Joe's daughter an interview...and I must pop out this afternoon to get Will's birthday present......and those plants need watering and none of my pencils are sharpened and Right! I've got too much to do!So! I'm going to start by sorting out my paper clips and then I shall make 27 phone calls and I'll do some thinking tomorrow when I've got everything out of the way."Because, as we all know, it's easier to do trivial things that are urgent than it is to do important things that are not urgent, like thinking.And it's also easier to do little things we know we can do, than to start on big things that we're not so sure about.
Tomorrow I will have for you the part of John Cleese's talk when he discusses why #2 and #3 are both TIME. Wishing you a day filled with doing the big things we're not so sure about...it's much more satisfying, I promise you.