What if we delivered holy water to orphans? What if we could create spontaneous dance parties? What if magicians entertained customers while waiting in line? What if we offered pancakes to homeless people who did jumping jacks?
In this episode of Steal Scott’s Ideas, Natalie, Katie and Brittany gather in Brooklyn for some execution in public.
Execution Lesson 101: A sign that letting go may be in order
I have an illustrator friend who uses wallpaper lining paper for her sketches.
Not only because it’s cheap, but also because it’s abundant. The stuff costs twenty bucks for a thirty foot roll of paper.
And so, drawing on it encourages a freer approach to creating. There’s so much of it, she won’t get precious about the work.
This mindset is essential for developing a healthy relationship with one’s creative process. Mature detachment. Respectful surrender. Compassionate impermanence. Expecting it all to disappear, and having enough faith in ourselves to build it all again.
Tibetan monks create sand mandalas for this very reason. It’s a highly intricate and ritualized process that takes several people, dozens of hours and millions of grains of sand. But the final product, as gorgeous as it appears, is destroyed shortly after its completion. The monks say a few prayers, sweep up every last grain of sand, give away handfuls to those who participate in the closing ceremony, and then dump the rest of the sand into the nearest living stream to be swept into the ocean to bless the whole world. Mandalas symbolize the ephemerality of life and the world.
The lesson is, there’s nothing wrong with falling in love with our ideas. But if we cling to our creative gifts too tightly, we run the risk of receiving the rope burns of attachment.
And so, whatever project you’re currently working on, learn not be so precious about it. Your idea is not a fragile vase that’s going to shatter.
Apple’s iconic founder said it best in his commencement address.
Avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked.
Which of your ideas are you afraid to let go of?