The key to your character and to the building of your virtuous, second nature is found in the development of your ability to “resist impulse.” You must inhibit the impulse to look and lust, to eat and overindulge, to speak and say whatever comes to mind. Building your second nature is building your inhibitions.
The key to becoming your creative self and to creating your masterpiece in work and life is going to require you to build a little crazier. You see, the key to creativity is found in “letting go.” Your brain, if it’s going to create, has to relax and feel the freedom to express, experience, and extrapolate all kinda crazy shit that “social convention,” and Victorian virtue would simply shut down.
According to Joshua Funk, the artistic director of Second City, the first American theater dedicated to comic improv, you’ve got to learn to not care what others think. In fact he’s very CCD on this point. “It takes years of work before you can get good at improv. You have to work at not giving a f’.”
This is easier than you think. In fact, every night your brain practices “letting go.” You see, when you get into REM sleep your brain shuts down the prefrontal cortex, the region that censors your creativity goes quiet. The result. You dream. I mean really dream, crazy shit kinda stuff. Ever woke up in the middle of one of those nights and captured a sneek peek at your unbridled brain entertaining itself? Crazy, indeed. When the “censor” is shut down all kinda connections and strange ideas that you’ve been tossing around up there come together and have a party. This is why sometimes you awake with a new idea or a sudden solution to the problem you were playing with right before bed. Imagine if you could get your brain to do this while you’re awake. You can. The key is so simple you won’t believe me. The key is something you know and something so many have forgotten or feel that they’ve “outgrown.” The key…
For me that means riding my bike in the country, either by myself or with a few friends. Not the ball busting kinda ride. E Z P Z. Most of the BTL playbooks and most of the blogs that are worth a lick, were written in my mind when I was out looking at God’s creation and thanking Him for the gift of a cool breeze at my back. Funny, huh.
Full circle we’ve arrived. Building character requires restraint. Building creativity requires letting go. Embrace this paradox and build both.
And, Imagine,the latest book by Jonah Lehrer is what inspired this rant. Read some meat like this and let it rip…