Lessons learned from silencio
Cosby was famous for telling his comedian protégés, accept what comes from silence. Make the best you can of it. Silence is the sign of the professional.
It’s true on stage, and it’s true in life. Music is the space between the notes.
And yet, few of us have been trained to appreciate empty spaces, silence, formlessness and voids. It’s too uncomfortable for us. We hate silence because our anxieties get very loud in our head.
Instead, our natural inclination is to fill any blank space with speculation, theory or conjecture. To drown out the silence with our own wishes, fears and fantasies.
The only problem is, because of this tendency, we obscure the valuable tension crucial to the creative process. We rob ourselves and the audience of the chance to make magic happen.
Fritz’s research on creativity reminds us that this very tension is the force that moves forward resolution and generates energy that is useful in creating. He calls it a discrepancy, which is the space between current reality and desired vision.
And so, whether that discrepancy exists on stage at a comedy club, in the air at your painting studio, or during a conversation with a client, it’s something that should be welcomed, appreciated and leveraged.
Don’t be so quick to rush into the silence. Relax into it without urgency. Allow it to hold you a little while longer.
You might be surprised what the discrepancy produces.
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