On Fire.

February 6, 2010

I tend to watch programs on the Discovery channel. I think it’s because the commentary is inviting and not harsh like the news or most TV drama shows. The other evening I was engrossed in a show I usually watch called, “The Naked Planet” that was explaining how a meteor enters the earth’s atmosphere and it’s impact on the planet’s surface. What I discovered was that meteors, in this manor, behave almost like the mind when developing creative ideas.

A meteor is a piece of rock or ice that travels in space which is pulled by the gravity of a nearby planet or moon. It becomes incandescent as a result of friction and appears as a streak of light as it enters the atmosphere of that planet or moon. See what you can learn from watching the Discovery Channel? So how does this relate to the creative process? The answer lies in what happens to the rock and ice as it travels to the surface .

This meteor gets really hot as it fights the atmosphere of earth traveling at thousands of miles an hour. It pushes through the gases of space and it compresses the air so tight that the heat literally peels away the material from the meteor and it burns away, thus causing the trail of light that we usually see. Since childhood we refer to these as “falling stars”. That sounds much better than a burning rock traveling at blistering speeds headed right for your backyard.

The most important part of what happens to the meteor is that it ends up being a fraction of its original mass and sometimes is nothing more than a pebble before it reaches its destination. Now plant this image I just painted for you in your head and think about the creative process. As you develop ideas you get excited about them, you get fired up, and then you start to peel off the layers of that idea until it becomes this nugget of creativity of unmeasurable power.

Finally, this meteor – even the size of a pebble – hits its destination with such impact that would destroy entire cities. Think about that. A huge idea, narrowed down to a powerful creation, on target, on strategy, reaching its audience with such an impact that causes a result that is so explosive that everyone notices. That, my friends, is called an idea on fire.

And why would you want to stop that?