In sports they refer to the “calm before the storm” as visualization. It’s the few moments before a professional golfer addresses the ball, when they are visualizing where they want to ball to go and how it will fly there. Or it’s when a race car driver sits quietly and visualizes how he’ll run his race; the way he’ll enter and exit each turn on the track. It’s the mental preparation immediately before you do whatever it is you’re best at doing.
Be quiet and find your focus
The idea for this post occurred to me a few hours ago while I was quietly hiking through a forest. While that hike was a form of preparation, it wasn’t the calm before the storm of my fingers clicking along on the keyboard to create this post. That calm occurred right after I bought my hot chocolate and sat by the fire. I typed a working title for this post, then sat calmly, looked at the title, sipped hot chocolate and thought about what it was I really wanted this post to be about.
It’s simple really. Find that calm and quiet place inside you that allows you to focus the vast majority of your energy – both physical and mental – on the task before you.
Once I was able to quiet all the thoughts racing around in my head related to the 17 other things I was worrying about, I was able to start typing a meaningful and useful blog post.
Calm can occur in a crowd or not
Today, I’m writing in the middle of the afternoon in a crowded coffee shop. The background noise would be impossible for me to deal with if it weren’t for a playlist and my ear buds. With those I’m able to shut out the noise that would be otherwise distracting. All the people and visual hustle and bustle for some reason doesn’t bother me. Maybe the noise won’t bother you but the distraction of all the people will. Figure out what works for you so you can create you best work almost anywhere.
My other calm place/time for writing is first thing in the morning from about 5 to 7 a.m. The house or hotel room is quiet and it’s just me, a cup of coffee, an idea and the keyboard. In this environment, I prefer no background playlist and ear buds. I just enjoy the click-clack of the keyboard as the letters leave my fingertips and form words that turn into sentences and paragraphs.
The point is that you create your own calm before the storms that are your life. You decide how to prepare to create your best work. And make no mistake, a few moments of preparation make the task before you much more manageable.
Now it’s your turn. How do you prepare to create? What doe the calm before the storm look like for you?