LET THE SPARKS FLY!
“Are you crazy??!” Anyone ever ask you that when you’ve come up with some hair brained (in their view) idea, some totally off the wall point of view, a completely wacko sounding concept? It happens to me often. And hey, lots of times “they” are right. But not always. Listen, sometimes semi-crazy people do thoroughly brilliant things. Like change the world.
“They all laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said the world was round...They all laughed when Edison invented sound....They all laughed at Wilber and his brother when they said that man could fly....” (Sing it, Fred..) And they’d have laughed at Steve Jobs, the Larry Page/ Sergei Brin team and Mark Zuckerberg, too, if they’d had any idea what those guys were up to. “Madness,’ that’s what they’d have called it.
Robin Williams (speaking of crazy) has is right: “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” But it’s easy to lose it. From the time we’re little, we’re encouraged (or required) to put aside our childish thoughts of what could be, of inventing something new - a new color, a new word (my favorite) a new magic potion, whatever - and concentrate on learning “how it is.” Too bad. But it’s okay. We can reverse the damage.
A dear friend, colleague and brilliant advertising executive, Barbara Pesin, always said as we started a creative brainstorming session, “Let’s 'let the balloon out' all the way to the end of the string. We’ll just hold on to the tiny tip of it. We can always haul it back in...” It always worked. We thought of outrageous, frame-breaking, and sometimes even brilliant (and workable) concepts. Try it next time you want to re-imagine what’s possible...
A bit of “madness” can definitely work in your professional life. But what about your love life? I just adore it when someone, in a fit of abandon, declares, “I’m absolutely mad about this guy, mad about him, I tell you!” What could be better? Abandoning the police state you’ve set up around your emotions, your dreams, your creativity and embracing your zaniness (and taking the accompanying risk of being laughed at or called crazy..) may just be your ticket to fame and fortune. Or for sure, fun and fulfillment. "They laughed at me wanting you, said it would be hello, goodbye, but oh, you came through, now they’re eating humble pie...” Love it.
I love what the English novelist and comic book writer, Neil Gaiman, told the graduating class of the University of the Arts:“The minute you feel that you may be showing too much of yourself is the moment that you may be starting to get it right.”
It’s definitely time to loosen it up, take the lid off, let the balloon out to the end of the string, get crazy, and get it right. Let the sparks fly, baby.
Gail Blanke’s Lifedesigns©2012 All Rights Reserved