The Art of the Head Fake, or How to Let Go

The art of letting things go.

Our mind is a tool, keep it always up-to-date and you don´t have to worry about a bluescreen.

This is true, the things we experience, like failure, pain, depression, frustration, setbacks and also success are based on our mindset. Our mind connects feelings and keywords with people and things, just like a big database. The thing is, its often outdated.

The result of this: we are all just player in a game and the rules change every day, but you have to find out about the change by yourself, no one is going to tell you.

The art of letting go is deeply connected with success and personal growth.
As a freelancer and entrepreneur its good to know how to use this power, because believe me, its a power to be able to do so.

There are 2 things which are very important to every creative:
  1. You need to know when your work is done and finished
  2. You need to know when its better to "let go" and try something different
While you get better at these two things with every piece over time, its often the case that we overdo a piece, or spending too much time on something that ends up being mediocre.

Sure, no one is a genius all the time, Einstein had trouble finding his home (citing Seth Godin here)
But if anything is important in the development of skills for an artists, these are the key-skills that separates great artists from the good ones.

It begins with the idea.

My recent post about breeding ideas has led to a nice discussion with an art student, and it came to mind that the solution to their problem was to "let go". It was about the urge to bring an idea down to paper because of the fear to cling on that if they don´t do it.
Being too attached is bad for anything you do. Being too less attached will prevent HEUREKA from happening at all. Its about finding the right balance.
There are 2 everyday examples of this problem that everyone has faced a lot times.
Its time to study the cause of this problem in order to find the solution.
  • Have you ever wondered what helps when you are searching for something very hard? Thinking about something different maybe? 
  • Have you ever felt the pressure of writing an important letter, and the more you are stressed the less you are able to find the right words? Is writing at all useful? Should I send the letter?
I don´t need to write a book about these examples, because I guess you know the feeling described by now.

If we are under pressure or stress, our lizard brain -which is concepted to survive, is too busy keeping our search engine at power and cuts the energy to bypass it to our basic functionality. Think of it as a fail-safe-mode. 

Intellect is not available in "fail-safe-mode"

When we are transformed into a "lizard" we have not the extra of intellectual powers like creativity or imagination, we can only make use of our gut instincts and the ability of propagation, if present.
And in exactly this situation, it seems impossible to let go. Because that would mean we would give up, something that is a no-go for the lizard in us. But its important to give yourself a head-fake to be capable of letting things go.

Sometimes its as easy as saying to yourself: "I better have a coffee (or whatever you like) now" or have yourself realizing, that it was the first 10 minutes of workout for today.
It appears that turning the bad thoughts into something good, is difficult, but very helpful and in 99% it doesn´t work without a head-fake, so check out the link above, if you don´t get what is meant with that term.

Randy Pausch coined the term with the best meaning in my opinion, in his "last lecture" which can be found here where he explains how it works.

The virtue of the open minded

In another scenario I suggested to let go in asociation with breeding ideas.
I said that its better to keep the ideas in mind instead of putting everything onto the sketchbook for a later use. But this seems as well not very easy.
The problem with ideas is, that it is important to treat them like your partner, have trust and confidence in them and they will come back, treat them better and they will grow and bring even their friends to you.
What I wanted to say is; in order to breed ideas and have very good ones, you need to find a holistic way of thinking. A different mindset. One that allows your mind to be open all the time to gain input and find a glimpse of inspiration in everything you do with all senses. Whereas everyone elses mind is trained to shut down when routine occurs.

Every bad experience has a good thing - its on you to find it.

Instead of bothering, that because of the broken bottle you have left the house 5 minutes later in the morning, give yourself the head-fake that your unconsciousness has saved your life, probably because you could have had an accident otherwise, arriving 5 minutes late to work is the minor issue, in this case.
This is a head fake that will be saved by our unconsciousness and applied on new operations as well.
If you don´t burry what is good for you, you can make it work for you.
Make others believe in that too, and the world is a better place.

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Oliver aka Fantasio is a creative blogger who likes to share his insights about art, marketing and social media. Follow Fantasio on twitter or facebook



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