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  • tayloemcdonald

Inside the sphere.

Yesterday I spent 30 minutes trying to establish a LinkedIn profile for ArtSparcs. Stress displaced my determination when I kept receiving error messages and couldn’t figure out why. I had hit a constraint and instead of easing my way into some other point of possibility,

I became entrenched with MAKING IT HAPPEN. My frustration grew to a sense of dread as unreasonable as it was palpable. If I couldn’t create a company page on LinkedIn- right there and then- I was a failure. Reasonable, no? The whole sequence and subsequent foul mood seem silly now, but these neural tracks of mine are robust and seem to be wired to my less developed, highly emotional limbic brain.

ArtSparcs offers a process for generating new thoughts, yet I notice that in building this business, I keep falling back on old ideas and habits. I’ve been taught that certain steps must take place in a certain order: Develop a financial and strategic plan, register the business, develop a website, build a customer base, etc. With each step forward rigidly dependent on the successful execution of every preceding step, this linear thinking feels stressful. Trying to create anything (a painting, a website, a company) when operating from a place of fear and unchecked beliefs makes me crankypants. How can I build a business designed to facilitate innovative thinking if my own thinking is stuck in a neural rut dug by an ingrained and inflexible belief about how to build a business?

Before I consider any external constraints (like tech problems), I have to start with my own limiting beliefs. When I believe that ArtSparcs will only be successful through my own wits and self-reliance- and my wits and self-reliance prove insufficient-I run into mental walls of my own construction. I’m blinded to possibility when I get trapped in these cognitive corners. This is what thinking inside the box feels like. “Thinking outside the box” is not better. It advertises novelty and fresh thinking in a tired cliché. It’s its own antonym. Beyond that, it fails to consider the real constraints of reality.

Recognizing limitations is where the SPARC Method begins. We may live in an infinite universe, but our human limitations are very real: financial, physical, mental, geographic, etc. From the laws of physics to city ordinances, we are bound by all kinds of constraints. I need a model that recognizes constraints not as limiting, but as the launching place from which new combinations and pathways in the universe of ideas are discovered, a visual analogy that offers a more flexible, organic approach to guide the launch of ArtSparcs. The infinite universe might be flat, but the observable universe is thought to be spherical; I’m ditching the box for a sphere.

The surface of a sphere is its defining limitation and with no straight lines, there are no corners to back into. SPARC is a process that uncovers the possibilities inherent within a set of constraints and expands our concepts of what is possible. On the surface of a sphere and within the sphere lie an infinite number of points. These points of possibility connect to form new paths, not limitations. As the paths expand, so does the sphere of possibility.

So, although you won’t find ArtSparcs on LinkedIn just yet, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram. I look forward to sharing the journey of discovery with you there.

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