“OPEN LOOPS are the unfinished projects, the halfhearted efforts, or the un-reconciled relationships. They are the projects that you’re afraid to say no to, but deep down you know that you can’t commit to. They will weigh you down and steal energy from your more pressing, mission-critical work,” said Todd Henry.
Open loops are a lot more common in our life than we think. Many open loops form as sidetracks from previous diversions, funny enough. Doubts in our abilities result to inaction, leaving us with unfinished projects and high cortisol spikes. On the other end of the spectrum, it could be that the challenge just didn’t quite meet our skill level thus creating extreme boredom and lack of investment.
For some time, the power of ‘letting go’ (of attachment, of self-importance, of validation) taught me to be more free-flowing and adaptive with ideas, allowing variation to partake in the creation of something new and wild. My production rate progressed. But ‘letting go’ only worked to an extent. The lack of focus was still there.
However, establishing constraints and structure to a universe of thoughts can sharpen focus and hone one’s creative message. ‘Always Be Closing’ (ABC) was a term used in the film Glengarry Glen Ross, and became a symbol of ending anything. It’s an attitude, and applicable to creativity. A closer is concerned with one thing: results. Results dictate their next move. Actions matter, not emotions. Closers show up purposeful and task-oriented: defeat, acquisition, close. A close could mean success OR failure. Regardless, it’s curtains for you.
Sounds extreme? Well, there is an art to the concept of ABC. Applying this one guideline of closing open loops has helped me stay focused, navigate the sea of ideas, and create pieces I’m proud of. It’s measurable. Embracing the closer mentality has allowed space for new construction into my realm. New constructions accumulate and ultimately become part of a much larger structure. Try closing an open loop today. The action of closing can build momentum. And then allow that momentum to carry you to your next brilliant idea. -Jack