The Kevin Costner Guide to Hearing Voices in Your Head and Doing Whatever They Say
Lessons learned from “Field of Dreams”
All creativity begins with the moment of conception.
That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.
Based on my books in The Prolific Series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.
Today’s clip comes from the voice scene from Field of Dreams:
When you make anything, you compete with everything. It used to be so simple. Create something worth talking about, and people will talk about it. If you build it, they will come. Piece of cake. I almost laugh at the number of times the story about my nametag went viral. I barely had to lift a finger. Because in the beginning of the digital revolution, news outlets and publications and other media properties didn’t perceive an interesting story as something that competed with their own content. I was never a threat to their business model. So they gave me tons of ink. Fast forward to today, now everyone runs their own media company. Everyone is an artist, everyone is publisher, and everyone is in the ears and eyeballs business. Everyone. Attention has become the most scarce commodity on the planet, and we’re all vying for it. And the scary part is, since anybody can create anything for nothing, everybody is competing with everyone, from everywhere, for everything. The age of compartmentalized competition is over. The primary currency is keeping the audience’s eyes glued to the screen. Anything that diverts that precious attention is the enemy. This bothers me. Every time I launch a new project, I can’t help but think I’m just throwing another frisbee out the window. Because most people are just not paying attention. I suppose, then, the answer is to go where the door is already open. To feed those who are already paying attention so that they will spread the word for me. It’s horizontal marketing. Side to side, person to person, not top down. Do you have a tribe or a group you think you’re marketing to?
Nobody wants hear stories about trouble in paradise. My favorite author has a great passage about dreams. He writes about blinking in disbelief, feeling the first rush of euphoria that comes with the knowledge that life is granting you the grace of a dream realized. It’s divine experience. Unfortunately, life has a way of taking those fleeting moments of excitement, those ephemeral senses of wonder, those brilliant flashes of satisfaction, and replacing them with something called reality. Ugh. Because once your dream comes true, not only do you have to learn to live with it, you also have to learn to deal with people who resent you for having and following it. I have a friend whose lifelong ambition was to relocate to the city of love and light. Paris. But when she finally stepped into her dream, she quickly learned that the fantasy of moving there was vastly different than the reality of living there. Turns out, as romantic and artistic and beautiful as the city was, it could also be lonely and isolating and hard to meet people. And to make matters more difficult, she couldn’t complain about that struggle with anybody. Because her friends and family weren’t interested hearing the downside of her dream. What the hell. Why is it that the moment life exceeds your wildest dreams, a knife appears at your back? Sounds like a country song to me. Dolly Parton said it best herself. Don’t ask me how I feel about dreaming unless you really have time to listen. Who feels disenfranchised by your dream?
Make use of everything you are. In order to feel fully expressed, to feel that I’m creating the most value in the world, I constantly ask myself a few questions. Are there are hidden gifts and talents that deserve a more prominent place in my life? What personal skills have I not yet tapped into to improve people’s lives? And might there be unique strategies for contributing to the world that I have not yet taken advantage of? The answer is always yes. Because on the mixing console of life, there are always more tracks available than we realize. But it’s up to us to plug them in. It’s up to us to listen for the whitespace, consider our ever growing set of assets and imagine what else is there for us to bring. I once came across a job application for a consulting company. The agency evaluated candidates on something called a skills maturity matrix. Pretty inspiring stuff. But when I read their framework, a switch turned on inside my head. Oh my god. Somebody else actually has a name for what I’ve been trying to explain. Are these people psychic? Because under the category called counsel, the framework literally listed every skill I was good at, but wasn’t currently taking advantage of. Providing feedback that inspires action. Contributing to the growth of every person connected to you. Offering meaningful, off the cuff advisement to people. Unearthing valuable new opportunities in the midst of a conversation. Providing counsel that has an impact. Wow. It’s like they printed my resume for me. That matrix described my skills perfectly. It gave me clarity and encouragement around my value as a professional. It helped me understood which tracks on my mixing console needed to have their levels raised. And it inspired me to relaunch my mentoring program. Are you making use of everything you are?
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What did you learn from this movie clip?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.
Now booking for 2015–2016.
Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!