Thinking With My Fingers And Other Thoughts In Action
I’m not writing this post. I’m just thinking with my fingers. That’s a line plucked from Issac Asimov, science-fiction writer extraordinaire. It’s true though. If you suffer from “writer’s block", Seth Godin would tell you there’s no such thing. Or in his words, “you don’t ever wake up with talker’s block”. And Seth writes exactly how he talks (I’ve heard him).
I was chatting with a friend the other night about cooking. I love cooking, I probably enjoy the eating part even more, but mixing and mashing ingredients together to make some end-product is another one of my creative outlets. And that’s when the threads started connecting.
You see, our brains are amazing. Subconsciously, they control thousands of bodily functions, without us having to do much at all. Where'd you learn to blink, breathe, etc.? But beyond the basics, our brains also influence what happens outside our body. E.g. you might decide you want to go fishing. Now that idea is physically effecting the ocean, fish, friend you’ve decided to invite along, etc.
Thoughts easily become actions. We know this. Want better actions? Make better thoughts.
This is the fun part. Understanding that our bodies are extensions of our minds means that if you can think it, in theory you can make it, or at least make an attempt. A chef must imagine a finished dish, or at least have a rough concept before getting fancy with the spices. When Michelangelo was asked how he created the statue of David, he simply replied that he removed everything that wasn’t David.
The actual act of thinking is behind all art, which to me, is the expression of one’s thoughts. Which means that behind GREAT art is some seriously good thinking. If you’ve ever felt jealous of your “creative” friends, there's no need, you can bring thoughtful expression into your life. All you need is a little time and courage. Many people choose not to share because it doesn’t live up to their own, or other’s standards.
The gap between your taste (usually very good) and your current skill level is the culprit, more often than not. But bridging the two requires commitment. Don't think for a second Michael Jordan was born an NBA MVP. You’ve got to really want to improve, even more than you enjoy sitting on your butt. If you can keep that promise to yourself, you have the potential to be great. Think with your fingers, paintbrushes, pots and pans, and marble statues. The power to manipulate objects within the world is more accessible than you think, BUT FIRST you have to think.