Presence - Introducing the Visual Tools for Focus
Hi, I’m Chad Moore. You’re receiving this email as you signed up for my Newsletter, called Presence.
Hi, I’m Chad Moore. You’re receiving this email as you signed up for my Newsletter, called Presence. I appreciate you being here and reading! I’d love to hear from you, send a reply if you want to chat.
Visual Tools for Focus
Next week I am starting a new series here in the newsletter. Each week I’ll write and talk about a tool that I’ve used to help prioritize or focus on creative work.
I currently have 16 exercises planned for the series. These are things that I have found to help with prioritization and keeping me focused. I’ll describe and demo each technique and provide some guidance on the context that makes sense for each exercise. Some are better for focus, others for priority.
This isn’t about “productivity”
We need creativity and connection as a species. Full stop. These tools can help you prioritize, focus, and help you express yourself. I’m not trying to convince you that they’ll make you more productive. They’ll help you focus, and prioritize. What even is “Productivity” anyway?
You don’t need anymore productivity advice from me, or anyone else. You don’t need to buy anything, or read anything, or listen to anything, or do anything to make yourself “better”. Your best self is a mirage that capitalism created to make you feel inadequate, so you buy more stuff. Forget about it. Hang up the phone. Let’s work with this self. The one that is right here, right now. It’s all you’ve got and it’s pretty good.
-Jocelyn K. Glei on Hurry Slowly
This is about some simple tools to focus on creating things. It’s about understanding a singular priority and keeping and maintaining focus. It’s about getting to work with yourself, for yourself.
Releasing your work is a gift to the world
Creating something is a act of self-expression. It’s for you. And, storytelling and interactive experiences connect humans. We all need stories to understand each other and our human condition. Everyone is a storyteller in some way, we all know this. Stories and interactions are gifts to the world. We are held back by our own fear and doubts.
What will they think?
If I fail, they’ll all laugh at me
If I succeed, they’ll all think I changed and sold out
We define ourselves based on what we think others will think. I read this quote in Jay Shetty’s Think Like a Monk. Here it is in full:
I am not what I think I am, and I am not what you think I am, I am what I think you think I am
This is attributed to Charles Horton Cooley and it is from 1902!
My sketch note of the quote
But we all need to connect via these stories and creative things. That need is greater than our fears.
I hope these simple tools can help you express yourself. For yourself. If other folks are impacted or interested in your work, that’s great too.
Be on the lookout for part one next week… The Highlight!
Here’s a Racket that describes the Visual Tools for Focus as well!
Visual Tools for Focus | Racket
Visual Tools for Focus by @chadgmoore
Around the web
Here’s the Racket for “best creative work” in case you missed it.
Your best creative work | Racket
Your best creative work by @chadgmoore
The Lizard Brain is the part of your brain responsible for handling threats. It determines if you should chose fight or flight when presented with danger.
The Lizard Brain can’t tell the difference between the actual tigers in the bushes and the perceived ones. When our higher brain gives control to the lizard brain, there isn’t processing, context, and nuance.
It just takes input (threat!) and makes a decision (fight or flight).
These days, not many people have to worry about the reality that there are tigers in the bushes ready to pounce.
Now and then
Then - Not being liked meant you were not able to join, or you got kicked out of the tribe. If you were on your own, you likely died.
The tribe was safety.
Now - Not getting likes on your posts feels like you’re not in the tribe. And that still feels like you are on your own.
Kicked out of the tribe. Unsafe.
A single focused breath can help us understand the tigers and lizards around us. Helping your lizard brain go onto the back burner. We need this subroutine running to keep us aware of what’s happening around us. But when it takes over, we feel anxiety and fear.
A single deep breath.
Then more if you want or need to.
Thank you, and a question
I’m curious… When you think of starting something creative, and you hear the lizard brains voice in the back of your head…
What does it say?
You’re too much of this or not enough of that to make this thing.
Something like that?
You can reply and tell me, and we can have conversation about it if you’d like. Or you can write it down on a post-it or scrap of paper. Or say it out loud. Keep it for yourself.
Think about it once it’s out in the ‘real world’ and out of your head.
It probably feels wrong once written or spoken aloud. Maybe even ridiculous.
You can start. It’s OK.
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Chad Moore @Chadgmoore
Our yesterdays are dreams. Our tomorrows are uncertain. All we have is right now. Presence is about being in the moment.
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