The Timed-Release Capsule and Growth Through Use; or, Where the Ideas Come From

We ask where great ideas and creativity come from, not because the question itself matters, but because we want to go there in order to find more.

photo http://www.sxc.hu/photo/635810 by OBMonkey http://www.sxc.hu/profile/OBMonkeyReading Steven Pressfield’s take on the question prompted a visceral response with my own beliefs.

We are, in part, Divine, fashioned by a creator to be creators. Thus, creativity is built into us like a time-release capsule.

Except it’s not released by time. You can wait till the cows come home and if you don’t add the activating ingredient to the capsule, it will never release.

The activating ingredient is sweat.

The creativity already exists inside you. It takes work to get it out.

For some folks the capsules are larger or more easily activated or more powerful. But they still have to be activated.

For some the capsules are smaller or less powerful but they’re still there.

The sweat required to release a continual stream of capsules is enormous. Just as our cardiovascular system has more reserve when we’ve been exercising regularly, our creative system works better when we use it regularly and include good stretching, proper nutrition, and fair play. Building creative reserves this way means more creation with less sweat.

6 thoughts on “The Timed-Release Capsule and Growth Through Use; or, Where the Ideas Come From

  1. Good, Joel.

    Allow me to offer my take on this. (I could call it an my opinion, but as you know, I’m extremely arrogant and I don’t consider this an opinion matter.)

    Insofar as sweat is defined here in the company of extreme physical or mental exercise (which is what most of the population associates with “sweat”) and the word “work” (which is also commonly associated with physical or mental action of some type), then this “creation” is your basic human time-based activity.

    People who like to create don’t generally like to call it work — or they won’t do it.

    Since the human part is every bit based on time — and the Divine is entirely outside the realm of time, it may be confusing to put all of these “ideas” together for some people. Because if the creator in a person is the Divine, that means there is no time involved in his creation. And that means this physical definition of sweat (and work) does not work.

    These words, beginning with sweat, would appear to need very careful, specific, precise definition to avoid such confusion about both meaning and Intent.

    There, I said it…(I’ve heard that’s a very overused phrase, sorry.)

    1. “People who like to create don’t generally like to call it work — or they won’t do it.”

      I loved that. As a writer/publisher who personally handles every aspect, I spend lots of time at my workstation or using one of my laptops. Sometimes my wife becomes impatient and tells me, “You’re always working.” By now she must find it boring when I respond, “No I’m not, when you’re doing what you love it isn’t work.”

      I’m blessed to have a job I enjoy because it challenges me everyday and a one-person business that I love because I get to do what I want whenever I want. What more could anyone want.

      I don’t know if the work I do is considered creative by others, but it really doesn’t matter. The important thing is that I’m doing what I love and that’s as creative as I get.

      1. “Creative” can’t be constrained by someone else’s definition.

        I used to work with a plumber in San Diego. He was an artist, even though he did exactly what we all know a plumber does. It was his efficiency, his understanding, his skill which made it an art. Along the way he was faced with new situations, as professionals often are. His solutions were always elegant and appropriate to the situation.

        That’s creative. And he’s a plumber.

        What you do is creative, Bill, and anyone who says otherwise is probably speaking from fear, not appreciation.

      2. That’s great, Bill. My husband comes home daily from a (Klaus is German, so one must expect this, I guess?) self-imposed, high-pressure, high-responsibility consultant thing that he does every day; and lots of times, he complains and complaaaaains and goes on and on, and has to drink extra wine and the whole deal. And I think, Oh s**t, he’s not having fun, this is work for him, etc., etc. He fools me good… Because Other days, he arrives looking just so fine and sits down–and basically says, “wow, I really love what I do”! So, I’ve gotten to where I assume he’s merely being a temperamental actor trying to get extra attention on those evenings he raves about how horrible it all is! So cute.

        Maybe your wife is “baiting” you just to make sure you’re still aware that you’re doing what you love! hahaaa

    2. I love creating. It’s still work.

      Mind you, much of the work comes before the part most folks see as creative: overcoming our fears and actually starting.

      Time is a purely human concept, true. But where two spheres coincide, we have to accept values from both. Art takes time, and is timeless.

      The illustrator I use for children’s books posts time-lapse videos of herself working; a 10-minute video captures 3 hours of work. She can look at the clock when she starts, and look again when she’s done, and know that in some sense, 3 hours have passed. Of course, for her, time ceased to exist because she was, in a sense, in a spiritual place, devoid of time.

      When we’re in flow, in the zone, our brains stop recording most external events. Our retrospective perception of time is based, not on actual time, but on the volume of events in our memory. Fall off a roof and your brain opens wide and records everything about your 0.6 second fall. Sit with someone you love and discuss something you’re both crazy for, and you record virtually no external stimuli, sometimes for hours.

      In the first instance, time seems to slow to a standstill. In the second, if flies so fast we miss it entirely.

      And yet, empirical measurements show that it ticks ahead at the precise rate of one second per second, like it always has.

      Definitions: I lean the other way — I’ll leave the meaning open and allow others to create their own meaning from what I’ve said. Their answers are in their head, not in my words. It’s risky, but risk is where magic happens.

      1. You expressed that really well, Joel! Good for you.

        Also–I’m so glad that you have some very devoted followers. It’s fun to read Bill, Dr. Velasquez, and others!

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