A technique calledbrachiationis an important phase of physical develop- ment for children. For example, when a child is swinging from one side to the other on a set of monkey bars, there is a moment when they must let go with one hand before the other hand is fully secured on the next bar. If they fail to let go at the right moment, as often happens when they get scared, they will likely fall (or be stuck between the two bars with no momentum).
A key reason why they don’t let go at the right moment is a fear of falling. Ironically, that fear is self-fulfilling. It’s precisely because they don’t let go that they fall. You must learn to let go at just the right time— not too early but still at some point before you know for certain that everything is going to work out fine.
Creative work is very similar. You have to know how to let go of an idea and move on to the next one. If you don’t and try to grasp onto it long after it has served its purpose, you are likely to end up with some- thing mediocre.
We all mastered this skill as children, but emotional brachiation can be much more difficult. There is so much of our self-identity wrapped up in our ideas or projects. However, we need to train ourselves to let go and move forward.
If you don’t know when to let go of an old idea and move on to the next one, you are destined to struggle creatively.
Are there any old ideas—or anything at all in your life—that you simply need to let go of so you can grasp ahold of the next one?