What does it take to be innovative?
What does it take to break new ground?
How do I take the deluge of ideas that swirl in my mind at any one moment, calm them down into some sort of order, and then bring them to fruition?
I have have been thinking about these questions for a few weeks now. The reason that I’m asking them is that I’m finding that I have been accomplishing almost nothing except the things that are absolutely required of me by external sources. For my own inner desires, I’ve found myself too exhausted to be coherent, too tuckered to create, and too wiped to innovate.
I’m still working on all the things I need to be working on. I’m still accomplishing things. I’m still teaching kids how to save the Earth. And I’m making plans, big plans, in my head. The trouble is that the second I sit down to actualize those plans, my creative energy dries up like the Sahara during a noontime sandstorm.
Here’s the thing. My personal, internal dry spell isn’t calm. It’s not a place of stillness. It roils. It continues to plague me with possibilities in the form of pulsing waves of ideas, plans, thoughts, notions, and inspirations.
The trouble is that I think I am just too tired to grab anyone of them and make them mine.
There are too many, and I feel too tired to do any of them justice. My brain and body react slowly, like I’m trudging through molasses. So, instead of making headway on the myriad projects I want to pursue, I’m finding myself stymied by the onslaught of possibilities.
If everything you see is made of shiny, pretty things that demand your attention, that grab you by the throat and force to work on them, or rather force you to want to work on them, then it is highly likely that you won’t get a darned thing done, unless something gives.
At least, that is currently my story.
So, the question I need to ask myself is, what will it take to make sure that either I slow down enough to rest and therefore speed up my reactions later, or the stream of ideas slows down enough for me to be able to focus on just one project at a time until I find the time to rest and rejuvenate?
One or the other needs to happen. In my 20s, I was game to sleep two hours a night and work my butt off the rest of the time. In my 30s, I paid the price with a thyroid that got blown all to hell. Now, in my 40s, I am hopefully learning the wisdom of realizing that no matter how hard I try, I will never do all the things I dream of doing or complete all the delicious, delirious work I crave to complete. This is a terribly tough lesson for me. In fact, it makes me weep every time I think of it for longer than about three seconds. I never want to give up or give in. I always want to keep trying. And right now, I can’t.
Right now, I need to realize that in order to regain some vitality so I am able to work on some of these creative works, that first I need to rest.
It is so hard for me to accept but I find I must. In the end, my spirit is willing but the flesh is tired. And until the flesh is well-rested, the spirit is just going to stew in its own juices and let some of those tantalizing morsels of ideas, thoughts, and notions slip on by.
In the meantime, I will at least take excellent notes.