Note to Readers: One joy of shifting from a DIY attitude to a DIT (Do It Together) mindset is that you get to work with talented people who lift you up. That’s my experience with Heidi Johnson. Heidi has trained and apprenticed with me, worked as an events assistant & facilitator, and now serves as Tracking Wonder’s Client Liaison and as one of our Premium Consultants. Here article here gets to the heart of a problem we see a lot of in our TW Wild Pack, and in many ways Heidi “gets” Tracking Wonder’s practices and tenets even better than I do. Enjoy. -Jeffrey
by TW Premium Consultant Heidi Johnson
I’m a Possibility Junkie. I love the rush of a new idea, the visceral jolt of excitement that comes with the possibility of choices and options.
Several years ago, I would relish coming up with new business ideas: there was the idea of opening a lunch delivery business, being a virtual assistant, or owning a dry goods general store with an emphasis on crafts.
But there’s a shadow side of possibility. In a desire to create infinite possibilities, I ended up paralyzing myself from taking any action. Sound familiar? The shadow creates so many options and ideas that we can end up distracting ourselves from the real creative medicine we’re meant to share.
To counter the shadow, there’s also a catalyst side of possibility. That catalyst has to do with how you can fulfill your potential in this lifetime. The side that embraces discerning wise choices, moving toward mastering necessary skills along the way, and taking consistent action. To master something we use an inherent strength, develop a new skill, or hone an existing one.
I can now say I’m a recovered Possibility Junkie. Recognizing when the symptoms show up is a first step towards Mastery – towards owning the difference you can make when you catalyze your potential.
Here are the three most common Possibility Junkie Symptoms as I’ve noticed them in myself and the many talented people with whom I’ve worked:
Grass is Always Greener
There is some other project, business, story, creative endeavor that is better. And this new opportunity? Somehow in the mind it’s always easier, more fun, more rewarding than what you’re currently working on. You start comparing your creative medicine to others’, and before you know it, nothing you create or offer is good enough. Instead of flourishing, you’re floundering in an emotional downward spiral
Flight of the Blue Bird
This is where your ability to harness a work flow falls to the wayside. The Flight of the Blue Bird flits from thing to thing, and when you start to follow the darts and dips, you never really settle into a work rhythm. Usually they show up with a Shiny Object in tow, further distraction in the World of Buzz. [LINK**] Whatever time was set aside to work on your creative endeavor is abandoned as Blue Bird shreds your carefully planned day to make its nest.
Shiny Object Syndrome
Possibility Junkies get easily distracted by shiny objects like Facebook, Twitter, email and to do lists. This is the World of Buzz swarming around your ear and saying that just a few minutes of distractibility won’t hurt and everybody does it, so why not you? You know Shiny Object Syndrome has you in its grip when you start following links, click throughs, and suddenly you can’t remember how you got to YouTube and why the talking babies seem so funny.
What if there were a different way to live the creative life? What if there were a way to water your own grass and make your side of the fence greener?
Borne out by Jeffrey’s experience and pragmatic synthesis of the art & science of creativity, at Tracking Wonder we’ve developed a list of traits that allow creative artists, thought leaders, teachers, and coaches to bypass overwhelm and flourish.
Let’s look at how mastering these three traits and skills can counter the Possibility Junkie Symptoms.
Harness Your Creative Drives
Harnessing what drives you deep down gives you ownership of the larger creative quest you are meant to be on. If you want greener grass on your side of the fence, learning to reframe the negative self-talk about your own creative process is vital. And this skill takes practice, a constant, compassionate vigilance to prevent negativity from derailing the time you set aside to write, paint, or sculpt. The landscape you live in will flourish when you tend to your own needs and drives and take stock of who your best creative self is, where you want to travel, and how you want to impact the world with your creative medicine.
Sculpting Your Creative Space & Time
Mastering the skill of shaping time protects against time shaping you. Productive creatives shift how they view time, and when they see the flighty Blue Bird headed their way, they remain compassionately vigilant to the time set aside for creative endeavors. For some this will be a radical shift in their relationship with time. When you pair it with a deep understanding of your creative drives and daily ebbs and flows, Your Potential Difference begins to take shape. Instead of fighting against time, here is the opportunity to apply the tools and master the ability to design a work flow that actually works.
Harness Focus & Fire
The brain has limits on its capacity to focus, which leaves us susceptible to Shiny Object Syndrome and the World of Buzz. Those who hone and master the skill of focus are able to recognize the .2 second Distraction Reaction that moves you from creative work to watching the latest viral video. Mindless responses are usually a sign that better care and self-care is needed. A hallmark trait of flourishing creatives is the ability to sculpt the time needed to do the actual work of creating and the work of wandering and daydreaming. Nose to the grindstone all the time only diminishes your ability to focus and puts out your fire to create.
Your Potential Difference is being able to recognize when the Possibility Junkie symptoms show up and the World of Buzz starts leading you astray. Your Potential Difference is being able to consciously choose how you want to shape your time. It’s taking a honest, long look at what skill set, what tools you need to learn or hone to fully step into and own the creative life you deserve.
So ask yourself, what if this year I learned to shift my creative life from one of struggle to one of flow – no matter what challenges arise?
Remember what it’s all about:
When we flourish in the face of challenges, big or small, we can get our art and creative goods into the hands and hearts of those who ache for them.
And that is one step toward creating a world of wonder that transforms the world of buzz.
Let me know if you struggle with your inner Possibility Junkie and what questions I can answer.