Water Displacement and Distractions

Water displacement and distractions: An analogy for creativity

Imagine a glass that is full to the brim with water. The water represents “creativity.” Beside the water you have an assortment of pebbles. Each of those pebbles represents a distraction in your life. As you start adding the pebbles one by one, the water displaces and spills out of the glass. Distractions take the space of creativity and the creativity spills over and disappears.  There isn’t room for both.

However, there is a difference between a distraction and doing something purposeful. Mindless channel surfing or swiping your phone screens with no intent is a distraction. Doing something to “kill time” in usually a distraction. When you’re distracted, you are giving up a possible creative opportunity. This example of water displacement is a simple way of giving creativity tangible characteristics.

water displacement and distractions

Technology blah blah blah

Firstly, lets talk about technology. We all blame innovation and sure, we look at our screens a lot. That is simply, the world we live in. I don’t see this a problem for the most part. The problem, is in fact,  when we mindlessly swipe through Facebook because we are bored. Every swipe is another pebble in the glass. Another missed opportunity to be creative. Distractions are important when we don’t overuse them.

Are people really entitled or just impatient?

Instant gratification has become the new global currency. I’ll admit I’m just as guilty as everyone else. I enjoy likes and retweets. I like that I can buy anything I want from the palm of my hand and have it delivered to my doorstep. But is it that entitlement? Or is it evolution? We create our own destiny and evolution. This entitlement is simply, the effect. Is it an oversight? More than likely it is.

We are creatures of habit and we are getting into dangerous territory. We are becoming more and more artificially connected and less emotionally connected to the people around us. We aren’t entitled at all, we are just impatient.

water displacement and distractions

There needs to be balance

We are becoming smarter but sacrificing social engagement in the process and in my opinion. In fact, we are creating a world of introverts and de-socializing from the world. Filling up our schedule with no room to experience “nothing” and just be. No time to ponder or create. No time to imagine. If we do find time, we are watching our favorite Netflix series. On our 15 minute coffee break we check in on Facebook or Twitter for gratitude. We need to start looking around and become more purposeful in our engagements.

Conclusion

In closing, first of all, thank you for reading my post about water displacement and distractions. I also recommend reading about Imagination and creative thinking. I’m not at all suggesting that there isn’t a place for distraction. I’m suggesting making those distractions more meaningful when you can. Take moments to be intentional in everything we do. Please weigh in below in the comments section. Let’s start a discussion.

Anders

 

Vanderkool
HELLO, I'm Anders Vanderkool: Creative Guru. I am an educated graphic designer and fine artist. This is where you will find my thoughts and ideas about creative things. I will share with you resources that will help you on your next creative project. Maybe my posts will motivate you or change the way you approach creativity. Please share your ideas and comment. Let's start a discussion

One Reply to “Water Displacement and Distractions”

  1. I often find it difficult to differentiate whether or not my scrolling through social media is distracting myself from my current state or if it is truly from a place of enjoying and finding inspiration through what others are posting. What has helped me tremendously is taking breaks, call it social media intermittent fasting if you will, so I only check my feeds for a half an hour in the morning, mid day and then in the evening. I don’t always stick to this, but if I do find myself immersed reading a blog post or article I make sure to sink into my body and feel if I’m anxious, uncomfortable, bored or if I truly am benefiting from the content I’m consuming.

    That all being said, in those hours “fasting” from distraction and consuming content become hours for me to create or participate in practices that inspire creativity.
    Meditation, journaling, yoga, day dreaming/thinking, being out in nature, doing the tasks of daily life with complete presence.
    I’m interested in any other suggestions for inspiring creation vs. consuming distraction. Even if it’s a daily idea or activity to do.

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