June 02

Ritual and Creating Magic Part 5: Remain Open and Observant

Cody Lee


Missed a previous entry? We got you covered.


Part One. Part Two. Part Three. Part Four.


Remain Open but Observant

Let’s talk about how to actively practice keeping the mind alert and observant. A common tangible practice to do this is taking notes throughout the day. Did you see something on your drive to work that was remarkable in some way, big or small? Write it down. Did you hear something on the radio that struck you as fascinating or insightful? Jot it down. Whatever you do, do not use your phone. You’ll be far too tempted to check into work or skim social media or your favorite app. There is a time and place for this type of behavior, but when you are actively trying to be open and observant, your phone is a hindrance.

For many people, meaningful input activities require more activity. Nature spurs an intense awareness of physical and internal environments, making it an incredibly effective way to open the mind. Reserve some time in your day to walk and watch the birds. Yes, we’re serious. Take note of the wind moving through the trees. It may sound New-Age-y or granola-crunchy, but in fact there’s considerable scientific evidence supporting the importance of these kinds of activities to creative thinking.

Hyper focus on things we take for granted – the shape of the trees outside our office, the sun shining on the cars in the parking lot, the smell of the breeze – can become a form of consciousness expansion when practiced with intent. Teach your brain to become aware of the world around you and you will deepen your mind, making it easier to reach into that creative space when it is necessary.

Try your best not to analyze what you are observing. Do not sit and think how you can apply your observations to your creative work. Remember, you’re working on input here. There’s no pressure to do anything with these observations. When we’re working all the time it’s easy to think only about how information applies to our professional careers, but it’s precisely this type of thinking that clouds judgement and narrows our perception. Simply observe and keep the mind open to receiving the experience. If your focus is solely on input, your brain will better process and internalize information, sharpening your creative axe for when it is time to work.

In essence, you’re building your reservoir of intuition. It’s a long-term investment that is not going to pay off right away, but through regular practice, you will begin to see your creative abilities increase considerably over time.


Conclusion: Reflect and Be Patient

We can’t stress enough that honing the creative mind is a practice and not something you can perfect. If you are the kind of person who demands tangible evidence of consistent improvement, you will find these practices frustrating and become discouraged. We argue that makes them all the more important for you and that it is this frustration and impatience that is holding you back. Learning to adapt, accept limitations, and work diligently with patience isn’t a part of the game—it is the game.


Want to teach your brain to be a idea generation machine? Give the full eBook a read.

Download eBook