How to Complete Your Creative Inspired Work With Illuminating Focus
Have you ever had a brilliant artistic idea pop into your head — that you knew would change the world?
You were ignited by inspiration and engulfed in flames of motivation to bring what you envisioned in the theater of your mind — the imagination —to the forefront of other people’s minds so that, somehow, you could light up a passageway to greatness for everyone that may cross your path.
Only to find yourself becoming distracted by life’s peripheral hardships, that your brilliant idea ends up dimming out before it was even able to light up the pathway that it was meant to brighten. Like a candle being held under a bushel. Or, for a more modern day imagery, a candle being covered with a thorn bush.
It sounds like a tragic story, does it not? A tragic outcome that I am sure many of us have faced at least once in our lifetime. And probably even more times than we can count, if we really tried.
My goal with this article is to try and convince you that your inspiring story (illuminating idea) doesn’t have to have this type of tragic ending. You have the power to change the ending into something more radiant and aglow.
Why Do Crime Scene Investigators Use Flashlights in Highly Lit Crime Scenes?
If you have ever watched an episode of CSI you would know that the Criminalist that investigate the crime scenes always go into their investigations with a flashlight, even if the crime scene is outside and the sun is at it’s brightest. Why do you think this is? (We will refer back to this in just a minute)
What is the difference between a candle and a flashlight? You see, they both produce light, but only one is able to focus the light that it produces in to the direction of one particular area.
Imagine for moment, that you are standing in a dark room, and the only thing that you have to bring some kind of light into the area is a candle. Well, certainly, the candle will provide some light to help aid in guiding you around the dark room, but think about this…
Let’s say that you are in this dark room — equipped with your candle — and you are trying to see and read what a sign, on what you think may be a door, says. Perhaps, you are trying to find some kind of exit out of the dark room.
The candle provides some light but it is not able to channel the light (energy) that it produces into one particular area. Therefore, the only way to find out what a sign says on this door is to slowly use the light that the candle produces to get closer to the sign that you think you see on the door.
But it is when you get to the “door” that you find, what looked like a sign, isn’t a sign at all, and what you thought was a door, isn’t a door at all either, but a discoloration of paint on a wall.
This is just like how it is when you have this bright idea, but only a candle of human will to work with.
Now, back to the Crime Scene Investigators. Why do they use flashlights in highly lit crime scenes? Because it illuminates one particular area.
You see, where there is bright light — the sun, for instance — and many objects in the crime scene, you are going to come across many shadows. It is the focus of the flashlight that totally annihilates these shadows, and allows for the Criminalist to be able to see the most smallest of evidence. The evidence that was lurking in the shadows.
Now, let us return back to our dark room. In place of our candle, we are now equipped with a high-powered flashlight. With this flashlight we are able to completely focus (or channel) the lights energy into one specific area.
You see, with the light from our candle, light was beaming every which way in the room, but not specific to where we were trying to focus our attention. With the high-powered flashlight, our light seems to move in a more “tunnel” like fashion, almost as if, in a “laser focused” like manner.
Now, those shadows that we talked about earlier, they represent the “hardships” I alluded to in the intro of this article. You see, each and everyone of us have something that no one else has. That “something” is what I am referring to here as an illuminating idea — a sense of greatness and genius.
But when you have this spark of greatness arrest the attention of your mind — even for just a moment. It doesn’t take long for that spark to fade out due to shadowy hardships and distractions that occupy our mental peripheral surroundings, even if those surroundings are imaginative or not.
Those “shadows” (hardships and distractions) end up darkening our focus and, because of this, we begin to misjudge things, just as we did in our darkroom, using only the candle. Or we miss the “evidence lurking in the shadows.”
You see, the only way to bring our creative work into fruition is through illuminating focus (our high-powered flashlight).
You’ve heard the saying, “let’s shine some light on this matter.” Well, that is what I am trying to do with this article. I am trying to, perhaps, create that “light bulb” moment in your mind.
Want to know what that light is? It is the power of your human will.
You see, your will is a higher intellectual faculty that you were given to by God. Your ability to concentrate comes down to how strong your will is.
There is a lot that can be said about the power of the human will, more so than time and space would allow for this article, but I will suggest you read this article I wrote for LinkedIn that can give you a better understanding of just how strong your human will really is.
A Quick Exercise of Mental Concentration
To close out this article, I want to give you one tip that you can try to use right now to help you turn your ability to concentrate into a more highly powered — laser like — illuminating focus.
Pick your most favorite and comfortable chair in your home. Emphasis on “comfortable”. One of the most important aspects of this exercise is that you are completely comfortable and relaxed. That means without stress and tension in your body.
Then I want you to find a dot or a picture on the wall in front of you. If you are like me, and your favorite chair is across from a bookshelf, and this is where you are sitting, pick your favorite book on the shelf and focus on it. Focus on the title and on the spine of the book.
As you sit there and thoughts begin to pop into your head such as, “I need to do the laundry”, “did I remember to pay that bill?”, and so forth, practice tuning out those thoughts from your mind — just for the moment — and realign your focus back on the dot on the wall or the spine of the book in front you.
Try to channel all of your mental energy onto this one spot (the dot on the wall or the spine of the book in front you). This is similar to aiming the flashlight on a specific area.
Don’t get discouraged when your mind begins to wonder. These “thought trips” are not something to get irritated by. In fact, they are very powerful creative impulses that God designed in your marvelous mind.
Perhaps, I will write another article about these “thought trips” at a later date, and show you how you can use these trips to your advantage, but until then…
In this article, we are talking about the higher intellectual faculty known as the human will. That is where your ability to have illuminating focus lies — it is your internal highly-powered flashlight.
As you practice this exercise, you’ll begin to notice your mind going off on these “thought trips” and, as you become more self-aware of this, you’ll be able to know when this mental event takes place and how to shut it down, at least for the time being.
Scheduling at least five to ten minutes of your day to practice this exercise will help you to become more aware of the higher intellectual faculty of your human will and help you strengthen the brilliant, illuminating light of your unparalleled ability to focus and concentrate on your creatively inspired idea.
Read that article I wrote for LinkedIn, and then spare five or ten minutes of your day to practice the exercise I have given you here.
P.S. I would love for you to share your thoughts about this article in the comments below. I look forward to our engaging conversations.
William Ballard is the author of “The True Writer’s Life,” which is the book that essentially started it all for William. In conjunction with the coaching he provides for free through his blogs and articles all across the web, he also offers Personal Writing and Business Coaching where he teaches freelance writers and aspiring authors how to start, build and maintain full-time, high-earning writing careers.