Last week I went to the Metropolitain Museum in New York. The tourist books call it the ‘the grand dame’, and I must say it is huge. It measures almost 400m long and occupies more than 190,000m2. This sounds a bit like a commercial, but for me it means it’s too much. Anyway, on my way to Modern Arts my girlfriend and I got lost at the Oceania department. They have an exhibition on masks, which had the purpose to make a connection to the spirits. We had great fun in photographing all those crazy faces. So, how did we get over the threshold and reach this sense of flow? Let’s introduce the three F’s of Flow:)
Follow your feet
One of the guidelines in improvisation theater is that you have to follow your feet. This means that sometimes people make a physical movement, but then they start thinking and stop their own movement. Our left brain kicks in to control the situation again. Follow your feet means ‘just do it’, because there was something attractive there. There are thousands of reasons not to, but if you want to see new things you have to let go of what you’re already familiar with. In my example, we were on our way to the Modern Arts Department to see more Pollock and Liechtenstein, but when we saw the Oceania’s masks our feeling said “yes!” and our brain says “you should see the Modern Arts, because that’s what you like!”. We followed our feet for “just a minute”…
Focus on the game
You have to focus, so don’t get lost in 190,000 m2 of Art. Because I’m someone who likes to do stuff, I always like to create some kind of assignment for myself which helps me to really see what’s there. In improvisation this is called ‘the game’. What is it really about for you? What makes it fun and interesting? We made many pictures of only strange masks, and I think we really saw each of them because of this goal.
Find your purpose
There is some reason why this ‘game’ fascinates you. Your the one playing it, nobody else, so why is that? In my example of the masks: At the moment I’m focusing on Playfulness and suddenly I saw the fun in these masks which I thought where quite frightening before. As an Innovator I now try to connect this experience to my work. What would happen if everybody at the Meet The World conference I’m organizing would start with making a mask for the person next to him / her? So you can trow away your game afterwards, or learn from it and use it for what is at hand.
Just as a last remark: I really enjoyed the MET and would advise you to go there too some time.