What’s Really Stopping Great Work from Being Done?

Attention and Focus – undiluted, absolute staying with an issue, challenge or piece of creative work you’ve promised yourself to complete. I’m amazed at the way my mind will work so adeptly to distract and dissuade me from completing the piece of work in front of me. Even now as I write this blog, I’m aware of the endless To Do lists, the half written emails, the documents requiring review, the writing to be done for clients.

What makes great art, truly great? The focus – the energy that the artist / creator poured into their movie, painting, writing photography, cooking, design, home or building. There’s a felt sensation of the potency and inspiration that fuelled the art that moves us. Whether it’s the Mona Lisa in The Lourvre, the Rialto Bridge in Venice, the Opera House in Sydney or the way a film completely engages our whole being.

When we watch a movie like Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain that shares with us a heart rending, unconventional love story set against incredible scenery, our lives and hearts are expanded through that experience. When you read Lee’s biography it is clear that he has had an unwavering commitment to his art. Moving beyond his father’s dream of academia, Lee pursued his studies in film and he was unemployed for six years writing screenplays while his wife supported them. Two of those screenplays became his first commercial successes and lead to his work in western dramas including Sense and Sensibility, Hulk and Life of Pi.

Lee’s awards are presented in tables on Wikipedia – there are so many of them!  In following his passion and relentlessly giving himself to his art, he has had broad commercial success and  explored a diverse range of subjects and engaged with collaborators including writers, producers and composers (all of whom have had to move beyond their distractions, the voice in their heads that resists and nags about why it can’t be done.)

There are always going to be distractions, our inner resistance is always going to try to keep us from facing up to and being with what truly matters in this moment. Our challenge is to rise above our minds and to place our attention and focus on the work that calls us, and to dedicate uninterrupted time to the creative venture that feeds our soul and the sharing of that which is within us. The deeper layer that sits beneath our resistance and distraction is where the gold lies – being able to let that layer reveal its beauty and truth is humbling and valuable.

Personal and organisational brands can deepen and enrich their communities, by ensuring that individuals give themselves time to be really present and create a piece of work (strategy, blueprint, article, piece of art, etc) that shifts and inspires hearts – and it’s possible to do every day. :)

This blog was inspired by Seth Godin’s take on the mental bandwidth required to do great work.

And I dedicated myself to completing it and posting it today! What’s getting in the way of your attention and focus?

By Fiona Pearman 


Images courtesy of Google Images


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