Ever have a bunch of ideas come flooding into your brain? I do. But not in any steady, consistent way. They seem to come in waves and at very unpredictable times. But when they do come, they just tumble on in, one after the other, connected by thin strands of logic.
I’ve learned over the years to try to catch these waves when they happen. Write them down, record them in some way, then try to take action on them. But sometimes I don’t pay enough attention to the storm that’s coming, and when it makes landfall in my head, I get overwhelmed, and lose a lot of potential brilliance.
During a recent brainstorm, as I marveled at the speed and strength of the ideas coming to me, I thought of the cycle and how and when it happens. Suddenly, my vast knowledge of TV weather reporting came to mind, and a metaphor for creativity emerged.
When the barometer drops, and a high pressure system gives way to a low pressure one, a storm front appears and heads toward land. My local meteorologists refer to this as the Storm Window. Once these low pressure conditions exist, a window opens, and a series of storms will head our way. As long as the high pressure stays offshore, the window stays open, and wave after wave of wind, rain, cold and snow come crashing through.
Last week while attending a class, my storm window opened, and a flood of ideas came to me. It was glorious. My reservoir of ideas filled, electrical energy coursed through me, and it felt great. I wrote pages of notes, and Post It notes with frantic scribbles are now scattered across my desk. Waiting for me to take action.
As I think back, I can see how the high pressure of my life had moved on a bit, bringing in a low pressure system that contained the brainstorm. I was able to relax a bit as my usual duties had been put on hold for a day. I was free to let my mind wander, and as the content delivered in the class washed over me, it triggered my BrainStorm. Wave after wave. One thought triggering another, some seemingly unconnected and random, others in a fluid stream.
Going forward, I think I’ll use this new metaphor to tap into my creativity. First a little forecasting. A daily weather report, if you will. Know what triggers it. See it coming. Then get the mundane daily tasks battened down, so when the storm window opens I can ride the waves and gather all the flotsam of thought into cohesive themes.
And when things calm back down, I can do the real work of patching things together and rebuilding with these new materials, to take this creativity from electrical impulse, to action…