to make things happen you have to make things

don’t let your ideas get confiscated

One of the greatest obstacles when we want to create something is the transition from the idea we have in our mind into a visible and tangible object outside our head… Somewhere in between, most thoughts get caught in the customs asked if they have anything to declare before entering the world out there. If you at this stage declare everything you’re thinking of, be sure the grumpy customs officer behind the desk will tell you that this idea is too weak, too complicated, not funny/good/brilliant enough, not to mention it’s already been done before by somebody else! The idea will get confiscated and you will never find out how brilliant it might have been. Instead, you go emptying the laundry machine, make spaghetti and watch an old DVD… Recognize this? How many ideas did we not let go of?

As soon as you get close to bringing your idea into the real world – meaning opening your box of watercolours, a new Word document or making room for your sewing machine – you will have to pass the customs. And if you declare your thoughts to the smallest detail, opening all the boxes, putting everything under the scrutiny of the guy behind the desk, be sure that the idea will fade and lose traction before you even dip the brush in the water!

I’m talking from experience, having had the most efficient customs ever set up between my mind and the actual execution of my great (or bad!) ideas. For years this prevented me from putting pen to paper, thinking I would not be able to do anything good enough to see the light! In the end this leads to a feeling of despair – you NEED to bring your ideas to life and feel miserable not being able to pass that invisible gatekeeper to the outer world!

creativity is duty-free

But here’s the (simple) secret how to do it – with or without ideas, whether your brain is brimming with inspiration or completely empty and blank – don’t declare anything in the customs just START MAKING THINGS! Quality doesn’t matter – just do it! Don’t evaluate any ideas before you have smuggled them safely through the customs area! Let your hands open the boxes and see what’s inside before your brain overthinks it. Use any material you find nearby and just make something! I mean ANYTHING! This will sparkle the process and give you confidence and energy to go on. Soon enough you’ll have your first draft, sketch or prototype! NOW you can start thinking a little about how to continue. But your idea is not just an idea anymore. It’s transformed into a real thing, a beginning of a project that might even change your life! This is what artists do – they just MAKE THINGS! Many things. Just a few might be THE thing they hoped for but it took a hundred to get there. The making itself will lead you towards your dream. To MAKE THINGS HAPPEN you have to MAKE THINGS! That’s it!

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