Daily Stretch #10: Let go of your attachment to ideas

Kill an Idea. Kill attachment. Pic by Paul Nylund


You won’t find the Daily Stretch #8.

It’s not that I skipped that post. I wrote it, but there’s a reason why I’ve never published it.

DS #8 title was: “Your Friends Need Your Time More than You Do.”

It was personal. My life had a turn last Thursday. I had to cancel lots of stuff to help a close friend. He is going through a rough patch.

I spent a couple of hours writing the post, editing it, and finding the right image. I felt proud once I finished it.

We are so busy trying to hack our lives that we forget about helping others. That was the core message of #8. The exercise was an invitation to make our friends’ priorities ours. And put our own priorities aside.

I thought the post would inspire those that are going through a similar challenge than my friend.

But, out of respect, I shared the draft with my friend. He liked it, yet felt uneasy. My friend felt exposed — confronted with his current situation — even though his name wasn’t mentioned.

I understood. And didn’t complain. I killed the post.

But it hurt. It’s never easy to kill an idea we love.

Today’s stretch: let go of your attachment to ideas

“He who holds me by a thread is not strong. The thread is.” — Antonio Porchia

Attachment makes us weak. The object we are emotionally attached to is in control. Not us.

When we fall in love with our own ideas, we lose our free-will.

Regardless of how great an idea is, your emotions can blind your judgment. Even worse, falling in love with one idea, limits your creativity. Fearing that you won’t be able to come up with more great ideas will get you paralyzed.

Today’s stretch: let go of your attachment to your own ideas. Sacrifice one. On purpose. Killing one idea will force you to come up with new ones. Develop the habit of being prolific.

Delete the draft of a post. Move a picture you just took, to the trash. Throw away a recipe and start a new one. Delete some lines of code and start all over again. Give away your latest illustration or design to a stranger.

Free-up your creativity. Embrace your ability to be prolific.

Don’t let these excuses get you stuck

“I’m so proud of my idea.”

“It took me days to make it happen. Killing it sounds crazy.”

“I won’t be able to come up with something better.”

Stretch, reflect & grow

Use these questions to reflect after this new stretch:

  • What internal resistances did you experience?
  • What did you feel when you sacrificed your idea?
  • By killing your loved idea, were you able to free up your creativity? Or did you feel stuck?

Before You Go

Change happens one stretch at a time. Daily exercises to grow beyond your comfort zone.


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