This is an unusually big month.
In addition to going into the studio several times to continue recording my next album and heading over to Ireland to play at a festival, I will be playing my first-ever hosted, internet live-on-air concert.
I will also be performing at an international convention of leaders and influencers in the fields of technology, entertainment and design.
I am really excited by the opportunities these events present for me to promote my music, make new friends, fans and contacts, and learn.
But I also feel a sense of anxiety about them.
For some reason, despite the positive nature of opportunity, it carries with it an emotional agenda that can cause stress and anxiety.
It might have something to do with having to confront my own wishes, expectations, insecurities and limitations all at the same time.
What if these events fail to deliver what I expected?
What if I miss out on something important during these events because I was not prepared?
What if I just don’t know enough to make proper use of opportunities I may encounter?
I think anxiety (and worry) have a lot to do with under-developed thinking about existing and/or upcoming issues, making things feel unstable and up-in-the-air.
A grounding process is needed.
These days when I feel that unpleasant, anxious feeling, I know there’s actually something positive behind it: an opportunity is at hand, and the anxiety is telling me to get in touch with the opportunity by preparing for it in more detail.
The whiteboard is my go-to.
By the time I finish looking at an upcoming opportunity from every angle using the whiteboard, writing down ideas, developing insights, asking questions, visualising likely scenarios, identifying the resources I will need to call upon, and making decisions about how best to exploit possibities that may emerge, I have both a clearer picture of what’s going on and an operating strategy for moving forward within it.
Solving problems with the whiteboard involves both creativity and logic. Reason works hand in hand with imagination. It uses both brain hemispheres equally.
Whiteboarding is as low-tech as you can get (with the exception of the iphone photo I take of it afterwards), but it works brilliantly.
It focuses your attention and resources on what you can control, and causes that anxious feeling to be replaced by a feeling of confidence, clarity and empowerment.
Not to mention that at the end of a whiteboard session I have a “map” to refer to, add to and refine as new ideas come along.
Have you discovered the magic of the whiteboard?
What do you use it for?
What makes you turn to it?