A few weeks ago I left the hot and arid confines of the Southwest for the land of mountains, Colorado. I took some time to get away from work, computers, the workshop, and the daily habits that tend to take over in this crazy world.
Nearly as quickly as I had arrived in CO, I headed up into the mountains – camping this time of year at 9,000 feet is quite exceptional. Colorado has beautifully forested mountains, full of pine and aspen, sharply contrasting my current landscape of scrub brush and cacti. By changing the scenery that surrounds me every day, I am also changing pace. Everything feels new again. New sights, new sounds, smells and experiences.
This is extremely important for those that do creative work. Anything at any time can influence you and your decision making process in your creative work. So – when you find yourself doing the same thing day in and day out, you are essentially starving your mind of new thoughts and external creative influence. Breaking free of the habitual items on your daily to-do list will also help you gain another perspective and expose you to the unexpected which is like candy for your creative soul.
I chose to head out into central Colorado near a town called Leadville to camp for four days and climb the highest peak in the Rocky Mountain range, Mount Elbert at 14,440. The hike took me half the day and gave me very little to focus on except for breathing and taking the next step forward. This mind space is incredible. Without all of the inhibitions and stresses of daily life as a roaring background chorus, I was able to think about new things. New ideas. New solutions to old problems.
You don’t have to go far to find this space. Even something simple, like taking a walk at night, or riding your bike through a new neighborhood, or pulling your camping mat out and laying it down on your porch to relax and watch the sky for an hour…these are all things that can take you out of your routine and expose you to fresh experiences.
Try it out. In fact try it out in a different way each week and let me know what your results are in the comments below.