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 a damned close 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.