When you're stuck on a problem—emotionally, creatively or otherwise—the best thing you can do is change your point of view. I learned this the hard way. Rock-climbing in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, I got stuck on a ledge between steep cliff cracks. I looked up both walls and there was no sure way up. But since I had people waiting to climb after me, I headed up again. A few moves in, I slipped and started to fall. The safety rope caught me and I was able to quickly grab a new section of the cliff face that got me right up. My simple change in perspective had done it. I learned that some times action is better than planning. Get going. You might stumble. But if you're lucky, that stumble or fall can open up results.
This happened today when I got stuck in terrible standstill traffic on a bus going up Madison Avenue. I could have gone into total road rage mode, but instead I just got off the bus. Walking west to my destination, I entered Central Park and passed a guitarist singing for change in the shade of a sandstone bridge. It was a beautiful late summer day and I began to love my unexpected park walk.
Leaving the park on its west side, I saw a gang roaring down Columbus Avenue on noisy off-road motorcycles. They shattered my quiet and pissed me off. But then I saw a guy with glasses and a black hat on a small electric bike whip out his camera and shoot them as they rode by. It was the incredibly awesome French photographer and artist JR in action (or his lookalike). Seeing JR make art from a fleeting street moment totally made my day. Here's a photo I took of his 2015 installation at the Aspen Ideas Festival. It speaks to me about the inspirational nature of vision. Change your route and see what happens.