Build bridges to tomorrow

Friday, July 09, 2010

One of my favorite books on creativity is Twyla Tharp's book, The Creative Habit. There's a quote in there from Thoreau or Whitman or Emerson about how a writer should always quit writing for the day when they know what's going to happen next. They say you need to 'Build a bridge to tomorrow' so when you get back to work, you know right where to start and can get into it easily. As an artist, that idea has always appealed to me. When I go through phases of being really productive, that's how I manage best.

When I have challenging tasks to do - like my income taxes - I finally learned to use the same tactics. Rather than work until I can't think straight, I work until I've done enough for now and know what happens next. Then, I set everything out all ready to go and maybe add a post-it reminding me what I'm going to do first.

This got me thinking today about how this could apply to my Spark Journey. Some of it's easy as I'm developing habits around using the trackers and such. When I'm not sure what to do next, there are always Spark Points to collect. But how can I take this further? I want to run more often and do it earlier - so tonight I laid out my running clothes for first thing in the morning. I'm going away for 3 weeks next Friday, so this weekend I'll plan for each leg of my trip and think about food and fitness and what could support me as well as the usual planning what I need for the trip. I'd like to try some different classes when I get back from my trip... how can I set myself up now to look into it or, better yet, begin when I return? There are a million ways I can play with this. Most important will be to apply it where I typically get stuck.

I'm sure for many this is just called 'preparing' or 'planning'. For me, who's always been a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-ki
nd-of-gal, this is like taking control of my life and the choices I'm going to make tomorrow and the next day and the next - not just hoping I choose well in the moment. This could be a very good thing!

How do you set yourself up for success? What sort of 'bridges to tomorrow' do you build? If you don't, how might it serve you to?

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POWER Challenge results:

P - Positive - Held onto a really positive attitude today about all I need to get done before my trip. Instead of panicking, I started planning. Yay me!
O - Outdoors - Used my bike for transportation today, dog walk, and tending potted plants...
W - Water - a good 9 glasses so far...
E - Exercise - See 'O'
R - Relax - Had to force myself to just have that silent time, but got in my 5 minutes. Also relaxed with a friend on her porch earlier...

Bonus blog - Here 'tis!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • WISDOM73
    Hi there new aspark friend,

    I completely relate to your build a bridge to tomorrow. I really enjoy sponteneity in my every day life. I find it keeps life fresh. THis being said, I have gradually trained myself to be more organized about several key aspects of my life including health, fitness, nutrition, sleep, budget and so on. I like to have my gym bag ready with clean socks (often I would arrive to the gym and oh oh no socks in there and going home is not an option), a towel for a shower and anything else I might need. Figuring out what I want to eat before I get hungry wich happens alot more now that I am training so hard.

    In the beguining organisation felt like a chore and was really no fun but now I find it creates so much space for the spontenaous me. It has given me solid ground to stand on. I don't stress as much and I never fell I fall short of anything. It is a great source of calm and joy in my life.

    In a few words, it feels really good to be building those bridges to tomorrow. In fact, it keeps me connected and balanced.

    Enjoy your vacation!
    2545 days ago
    Planning is great ... it's just that it could get obsessive and inflexible and feel like that (non-creative, day) job ... So creative thinkers (including scientists) step away from the problem for a bit .. regroup their thoughts in anticipation of the next step. Which provides the momentum to power through the rest of that part of the problem.

    Nice, thoughtful blog.
    2545 days ago
    Nice image, sis! I'm going to have to take that one under advisement. I keep setting appointment on SparkPeople to go bike riding, etc. Sometimes, I even keep them! I set up an 8 am bike ride for tomorrow. This morning, I knew where I was going to go. I haven't been able to think about what I want to do tomorrow. It doesn't make sense to hit the Farmers Market if I'm going out of town on Sunday. Hmmmmmm.
    2546 days ago
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