A big part of my life was spent as a creative guy in advertising. The mantra for creative guys and gals was: quality work, on time, within the budget. My greatest fear was number two … on time.
I mean we hired gun creative types didn’t have the luxury of other creative types (writers, artist, etc.) who had no time constraints or clients for that matter.
The dream of people like me was to only have to answer to yourself, to literally know in your heart that you could wait until after you were dead and buried to be assessed, discovered and have your creativity made famous (and if it wasn’t, big deal, you wouldn’t know or care anyway).
In our profession, there was only one thing worse than death (and it wasn’t missing cocktail hour).
It was having a client fire you over a missed deadline (even the name is scary) you were responsible for meeting.
So my recurring nightmare would be seeing a blank space in a national magazine, a super bowl spot or an outdoor board that would announce to the whole world: THIS WHITE SPACE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY TOM LAUGHON
I thought it was the worse thing that could ever happen to a creative person in advertising … way worse than a typo.
But now that I am a consultant, a seasoned guide, a trusted advisor (I know, I was an adman, how can that be?), I have a whole different way of looking at white space.
It is not the grim reaper, it is a lifesaver.
In this day of constant connectivity, where there is nowhere to hide, and instant everything a little bit of white space just may add some overtime to your life and most certainly more quality time.
Read Google’s Eric Schmidt’s take on the curse of constant connection and you’ll get a feel for why I believe using my white space is so critical.
So I am proudly announcing to all humans: THIS WHITE SPACE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY TOM LAUGHON
It is FREE to use and to pass on to others. There are no strings attached, no batteries needed, no sales people who will followup with you and no parts to break or that will ever need replacing. It is open 365/24/7. It will work forever!
Here’s how it works:
Take three deep breaths. Loosen up mentally and physically.
Focus on my white space and nothing but my white space.
Use it to think, dream, relax, laugh, cry, create.
The only thing off limits is negativity and making excuses.
Smell the roses. Make your own scents. Continue to loosen up. Let the rest of the world spin out of control. For the time being, you are not on it. You are in my white space which is further away from earth than anything, including outer space.
You are in a protected, safe place … my white space.
No noise. No interuptions. No phones beeping, ringing or buzzing. No memos, emails, messages, stock market updates. No status updates.
Put the “Gone Fishing” sign up.
You might think of something you have never done before, but always wanted to do. You may want to commit to not only doing it, but doing it in an excellent way. Develop a plan on how you will do it. Then do it!
You might do nothing. That’s something. Do that in an excellent way, too. No expectations. No accountability. Just doing nothing in my white space can be exhilaration.
Let yourself free fall. Feel it. Have the time of your life! You can’t hurt anyone, including yourself.
Revisit this space at least once a day. Give it a minute, an hour or throw your watch out the window (time really flies when you do this) or put it in a safe deposit box along with your smart phone.
When asked what are you doing, be honest. Just say, “Oh nothing. Won’t you join me?”
This could be a movement.
This should be a movement.
Warning: This could be addictive.
The Good news: It could be as addictive as connectivity and that would be a good thing.
Not bragging, but this little white space could be my greatest invention and contribution to people kind.
It could change your world and the world around you.
Make using it a habit. Make something happen as a result.
See you tomorrow.
Same space, same time.
Just remember: THIS WHITE SPACE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY TOM LAUGHON
Challenge 1: Share it with folks who really need some white space. Ask them to do the same (only after they use it).
Challenge 2: Let me know where or what you currently use for white space, why and how often you use it.
Challenge 3: Write down one thing you want to focus on and revisit my white space and see if it helps you think, imagine way beyond the self imposed boarders of your mind. Six sense it (see it, hear it, taste it, touch it and by all means nonsense it). Add some cayenne or a little spice of your own.
That’s all for now. I am working on my next invention. My White Space App. Who wouldn’t want on!
><(("> Tom Laughon
Tom is affectionately known as BIG ><(("> at Catch Your Limit
Catch Your Limit
Management Guides & Fish Cleaning Services
><(("> Camps in Tallahassee, Florida and Richmond, Virginia
To learn more, visit www.catchyourlimit.com.