Chapter One – Questions and Demands
As I mentioned earlier, throughout the series, I’m going to stop and ask you questions, offer exercises, make demands, and, basically, ask you to reflect.
1. Think about your process as it now stands. Can you write it down or explain it to someone? Is it healthy? Is it rewarding? Have your successes rewarded your process – in good ways or bad ways or both? Remember how I said that success can seem like proof that your process is good – when, in fact, you’ve succeeded despite your process? Where does your process now stand?
2. How was your processed forged? Go back and look at how some of your habits took hold. What’s the narrative you’ve created around your process? Can you become open to changing that narrative and paying more attention to your process and allowing it to shift?
3. Keep a journal dedicated not just to your ideas but to the environment surrounding your ideas. After you get an idea, and you don’t throw it away and you do write it down – and then you lift your head – THAT part. Take notes on what that environment is and what happened just before you had this idea. This is essential to getting to know how your brain works and how to work with it.
4. Practice the musing technique. Find a time when your prefrontal cortex is busy with something simple and repetitive and then let your mind take a controlled-wander. I mean set it to a question (a problem, something you want to solve or simply better understand) but then let it go. If it goes way too far afield, reset it. Try this at different times during the day, under different circumstances. And use the journal I mentioned above – the one dedicated to process – to keep track of this as well as the moments when ideas strike seemingly out of the blue.
5. This is a lifelong question. What motivates you, deep down? What are the things that truly move you? Why are you here listening to this? If you’re not digging deep into your work, why? How’d you get to this moment?