Are you comfortable with blank pieces of paper? It is often required to get going on a new idea, leading a project, or to create something new. It may be time to get used to these blank sheets of opportunity and helping those around you get inspired to do so as well.
Episode 8 Show Notes
- Book – The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds – https://amzn.to/2OEB423
Episode 8 Script
This is Rebecca Clark. Episode eight Blank Pieces of paper This’ll Podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work that are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your deaths? Hello, This is Rebecca, and welcome to the show. I’m excited to talk today about a simple piece of paper, a blank piece of paper. In fact, I love blank pieces of paper. I always have them with me, and I love them in any shape or size. In fact, this week I was so excited. I bought a large role of white paper and was waiting for it to come in the mail because I felt like I needed a huge piece of paper to get out and organized some of the thoughts that were going through my mind and for some of the planning efforts I have going on right now. And so I have strong feelings about thes blank pieces of paper, but I’m going to share it to you within the framework provided by a children’s book that I just read. And I was so excited to read some children’s books on some of these podcasts because they’re usually about three or four minutes long when it gets down to it, and they’re written by adults most of the time. And they’re written with lessons that are good for children and excellent for adults to remember. And maybe that’s on purpose. Or maybe when we’re on adult, we just wish we understood it concept better when we were younger. And perhaps that drives some of the author’s to create some of the stories they dio. But I was talking to one of my very good friends and mentors in the podcasting world, and he said, Oh, you know what? Before you read a children’s book, you probably would want to get approval from the author. And right now, I decided the trade off is to talk about the book instead of creating a whole new interaction with an author at this moment to get approvals. And so maybe that’ll come later and maybe you’ll say you don’t need me to read an entire book their short enough where I can pretty much share the entire point that I’m trying to make with the book. But this particular book I’d never heard of before it was called the Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. It’s one of these that were available from the Scholastic Book Club, and it was actually gifted to us somehow, and so I’m not even sure who gave it to us. But it showed up and my son’s materials, and so I wanted to use. This is the basis for discussion about blank pieces of paper because in this book there’s this little girl named Vashti who was given a white piece of paper in her art class. And she sits there and she’s frowning and she’s not interested, she says. You know, she can’t draw anything. And so our teacher jokes and says, Oh, it looks like a polar bear in a snow storm and said, You know, that’s not funny, You know, I just can’t draw. And so our teacher just is very calm and smiles and says, Just make a mark and see where it takes you. And so, of course, she’s very mad that she has to to anything. And so she grabs a marker and she jabs the piece of paper. And so you can imagine it’s probably torn the paper a little bit and it’s just this little mark. And so her teacher has no emotions about this and studies it and says, Okay, now sign it. This little girl looks at it for a minute, and she writes her name in large letters at the bottom of the page because she knows that she can at least sign her name. Well, when she walks into her art class that next week, she’s surprised because above her teacher’s desk there is this very nicely framed white piece of paper with the DOT in it that says Vashti at the bottom of it. And she’s put this beautiful, swirly gold frame. She calls it on there. Now Vashti is mad like she’s one moment she’s in shock, and wow, my work is on the wall. But then she’s disappointed because she realizes that is not actually her best work. And so she opens up her watercolors and stuff that she never used before because she’s so busy pouting on dhe, she starts painting different dots so in the pictures is showing. She’s going through all this white paper with like one dot on each, and then she realizes, Oh, wait, I can make some colors and said, And then she’s putting more dots on the sheet. And then she starts experimenting with different combinations of little and big dots. And then she gets really creative and takes a piece of paper and puts so much color on it around the edges that she creates the look of a plain white dot even though she didn’t actually create it right? So, um, just by putting a frame, so to speak. And so by the time there’s this art show at school a few weeks later, she literally has this whole wall full of different kinds of dots, different combinations of colors. And it really became a central part of this art show. And is she standing at this art show looking at what she created just over that last few weeks? There’s this little boy looking up at her in awe, and he says to her, You know, you’re a really great artist. I wish I could draw like you could, And she’s, you know, saying like, I bet you can. And so what she does with him is the same thing that her teacher did with her. And so she hands this little boy a blank sheet of paper and asks her to show him what he could do. And he is nervous and he draws this little squiggly line. And then she says, Sign it and the book ends. And I thought this was just a wonderful little book because it it shows that creative process that we have to go through in any part of our life. And the amazing part is the tools are in front of us. They’re all around us on these blank pieces of paper, the pencils depends. The water colors the, uh, all of those air available at very easily available most of these things nowadays that we need to do anything. And right off the bat, it was clear that attitude is something that is really important to the equation. And what’s also important is willing to take that first step to put something on the paper. Uh, until we make that step, nothing happens. But when we take that step and what I really like is this story talks about how, a week later she comes back to the art class because there needs to be space between steps sometimes so we can have different feelings different experiences so that we could come back and see what we did. We can go. Wait a second. I can think of more right now. So you’re no longer thinking I can’t do it. You are now in this different mindset of not only can I do it, I know I can do better. Oh, wait here. I have some tools already at my disposal that I I wasn’t using. And then all of a sudden, this creativity just starts to flow. And I’ve seen this so often in work environments, especially where there’s some kind of new initiative or some new kind of work that comes and people are a little unclear. And it’s almost like we’re afraid to take the first step because we know the first step is going to be a little bit of a failure. But I would recommend something, and I know I’ve put this into practice many times. I recommend being the first person to take that step, take the blank piece of paper and start writing on it. And what you will find as most people are very good at critiquing what’s already done. All of a sudden, people’s minds start to turn right because they didn’t want to start it, but the second it started. There’s ideas that start to flow on how to make that better, and by the end of it, the piece of paper looks completely different, doesn’t it? We start with a very rough plan or a very rough proposal or a very rough approach, and then as more feedback comes in or we have time to have different experiences, then it starts to take shape. But nothing happens until somebody puts a mark on that piece of paper. Now your natural default state right now may tend in two different directions. You, maybe someone who loves blank pieces of paper like me. I just love that blank sheet. There’s so many possibilities. If you are a person that is very good at taking existing models and charts and formats and that kind of thing, and adding the details and giving very specific information or analyzing it by all means keep doing that. I just suggest that you become aware of what it is you offer because it’s very helpful to know up front if you can take blank pieces of paper or if you need a little framework first, because then when you’re in teams or working something alone, you can reach out to someone that can help get that started. And I think both skills are necessary. I think we all need to learn both kinds of ends of the spectrum, but you will definitely be better in one area than another, most likely, And so some of us are willing to put our neck out there and go. I’ll take the blank piece. That’s gonna be rough, but I’ll get something down, and then others can come in and start ripping that apart. And we we’ve got to be open to that when we’re the ones that started right? It’s not our baby. We just started it. So lots of lessons to be learned now. But also in this A story I appreciated is how quickly this little girl saw the value of what her teacher had done for her. Or maybe she didn’t see it. She just was repeating that process. I don’t know, but that is something that we can offer as when we learn and grow and start contributing in something that we don’t withhold that from someone else and especially for her to see someone that was younger than her, perhaps and smaller, that was already looking up to her. There must have been so much, uh, accomplishment and pride that she felt from realizing. Wait a second. My teacher gave me this opportunity to think differently. She rewarded my small effort with a big, beautiful frame, and it propelled her into more creativity. And now look it. I’ve exposed a talent to myself I didn’t know I had. And now’s my chance to help this little person next to me that’s admiring my work, a chance to get started with a different mindset and with hope that they can create something as well. So see, these children books are really good for adults, really good for those of us who work in environments, whether that’s at home or volunteering or at work, where we need to get started on something and we need thio, inspire others to get started on something, and we need to work together to create something that did not exist anymore. And I thought this was a great example of propelling that motion forward so I would encourage everyone to start falling in love with blank pieces of paper if they’re not already and just used that as a mechanism to get started on whatever idea you have or solving a problem that you’re dealing with in any environment and see where it takes you. Thank you for listening to another episode of the move Your best show. If you enjoyed listening, I would love if you would take the time to give a five star review and share the podcast with friends that are seeking to find and do their best work.