The title of this post is taken from Paul Arden’s magnificent book of the same name. If you haven’t read it, then I strongly recommend you get it. At heart the book is quite simple. Filled with amazing photographs and strong, bold phrases, it is a book I keep returning to when I need some inspiration.
As I was reading the book one day, this sudden creative surge engulfed me. It was almost a spiritual experience. It felt like something was pushing me from inside and asking me to start creating.
I had a difficult interview which I wasn’t getting for a while and I tried once again by calling the PR agency and I got the interview scheduled for that same day.
Next I moved to a blog piece which I had planned to write for a long time but somehow the ideas where not coherent. I sat down with it and finished writing it in two hours.
I also spent some time tweaking a few Adobe Illustrator designs and wireframes and somehow whatever I was putting my focus to, turned into a success.
The next day I didn’t feel that I had that same creative insight as the previous day and went about my daily life.
This whole experience got me thinking. Was there a way for us to trigger this state at will? I had read about the whole idea of Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and knew that it was similar but my whole mind was focussed on the question: can I trigger it again.
I knew the first steps – read something highly creative and visual.
I took the book again and flipped through it. Nothing much happened. I did feel better and happier perhaps but not that state where something inside me was triggering an outburst.
I kept the book aside and started my daily activities promising myself that I would try again.
After a few days with no great creative outburst I thought of giving the book a try again. This time I had a different technique. I went through the steps one by one and as I was finishing the last step, something amazing happened – that state got triggered again.
I tried the entire process a few times and all I can say is that you should try it out for yourself:
Get plenty of sleep. If you are tired, none of this work and you might get frustrated. In fact it works the best right after you have woken up.
Have a glass of water with you. Dehydrating yourself will keep your brain functioning better.
Breathe out completely and hold your breath. Once you feel mildly uncomfortable breathe in just a little and breathe out and hold your breath again. Once you get uncomfortable again, breathe out completely, and hold your breath. Take a short breath again. Repeat the entire process for a minute or two.
Breathe in, deeply this time, and breathe out. Take these breaths very quickly for ten breaths.
Take out a book or an item which feels very creatively written or manufactured and read it or look at it.
That is it actually. If you follow these steps exactly as mentioned, you should have your first creative outburst moment within five minutes or reading/analyzing that book/item.
Use it how you please but remember, the effects start wearing off after three hours.
For me the Paul Arden book works wonders but you need to find your own. In the comments below let me know what worked for you.