project 1: the filtering


Imagine you are on a basketball team. Your team is losing and time is winding down. Your coach calls timeout. It’s been a pretty well-played, competitive game on both ends. You’re thinking, “coach wants to regroup, get us to focus, motivate us.” This is rally the troops time. But instead, when your team huddles around your coach, he taunts you, tells you and your teammates, “Good luck on trying to win this game. You’re gonna need it!”

You’re probably wondering if someone slipped a little “happy juice” into his Gatorade or if you accidentally stepped into the opposing team’s huddle.

He continues to be despondent, then later becomes outright discouraging. Begins tearing you and your teammates down. “Y’all suck,” he yells, “I could beat this team by myself.” At this point you may have to separate yourself from your coach and his words…you’ve still got 10 seconds of a game to play. Is he really helping you win?

Now, I use this example to illustrate a point. Us creators and creatives are bombarded with messages and media every day. Television, Internet, your coworker’s commentary on your boss’ breath, these are all things that we take in. Most messages fall in two categories: negative or positive.

The negative will destroy, discourage, and the positive will uplift, build, and encourage. Sometimes words fall into the neutral. But usually, if it is coming from a human being, there is a motive behind the message. A chihuahua’s bark can sometimes be neutral, as half the time they’re yapping for no apparent reason.

In the example with the coach, some would likely separate themselves or tune him out. Now, I do realize some are motivated in other ways. To some, the coach’s words would drive them to win, prove him wrong. This blog post is not for this select group.

As for the rest of us, think about why we’d tune out the coach. Because his message does not coincide with the goal we are attempting to achieve. So as a creative, as a writer, or artist, why not apply this same filtering?

Some of the music and television shows and people we surround ourselves with, might just be inhibiting us. There is a chance their messages could be poisoning our thoughts. Just because that chance, the possibility of it hindering our progression exists, how about we consume with more intention?

For a full week, I will surround myself with messages that only uplift (luckily, I don’t watch television really). But as far as music, I’ve put together an Audio Vision Board playlist of songs that build, encourage, and inspire me. I will listen to that and that only for an entire week. I will actively withdraw myself from negative conversations. I will watch videos of speeches that inspire me. And I will speak to myself and others in a way that only uplifts. All. Week. Long. 7 days of intentional filtering and positivity.

Join me on this week-long challenge, starting Monday 8-19-2013.

What say you?

We will discover just how much trash surrounds us daily. And we will determine how or how not (?) filtering this fosters our thinking and creative moods.


photo: jmawork

I am an author, traveler, and lover of all plantains.