Tag Archives: releasing
Have you ever noticed that when you stop focusing on something, it comes to you? Give up on meeting that special person, and there he or she is. Give up on trying to solve a problem and the answer just comes to you. The list of examples goes on and on.
I’ve heard a lot of reasons why this phenomenon happens with such regularity. Some say it’s because you free yourself from trying to solve the problem with normal means. Some just say it’s the way the world works. Some say it’s the Law of Detachment (like the Law of Attraction, but more about not caring how it comes about), some say God works in mysterious ways.
For me this phenomenon shows up in copywriting and developing concepts almost every time. I go for a walk, grab some lunch, or even go to the bathroom and the idea hits. I attribute this to the first reason — the unrelated activity frees my mind from the normal constraints, and allows in some less-than-obvious ideas.
But what about the phenomenon that all of my single friends talk about — as soon as you stop looking for a romantic partner, one appears? This can’t be about freeing your mind to find loosely connected ideas.
I believe this has to do with letting go. You let go of micromanaging the outcome. You relax, you accept that maybe you’re alright with just being by yourself, and you stop trying to create impossibly stressful and unnatural ways to meet somebody. And when you’re relaxed and okay with being on your own, you’re more attractive. It creates an environment that is ideal for growing a relationship.
Interestingly, this is also how I’ve been able to get the best work from people. I give them the assignment, the creative brief, and trust them to do their best work. Often, I’ve been so surprised by the result that it took courage on my part to approve it. The work was so creative, so innovative that I would never have seen their solution as an option. It was breakthrough work — which in advertising and marketing is the Holy Grail.
When I have micromanaged or been micromanaged, the best result that anybody could create was a watered down version of the micromanager’s vision. Nobody was happy with it (unless they really had no idea of what constitutes good), and the experience of creating it was invariably awful.
My dad used to say that the key to great management is to set the course, then invite good people to exceed their own expectations. He said that they’ll always do a much better job than you would.
Set the course, do your work, and let go of how you expect it to look at the finish line. The results may just surprise you.