Daily Inspiration: Twyla Tharp on What We Can Learn from Athletes
"Athletes know the power of triggering a ritual. A pro golfer may walk along the fairway chatting with his caddie, his playing partner, a friendly official or scorekeeper, but when he stands behind the ball and takes a deep breath, he has signaled to himself it’s time to concentrate. A basketball player comes to the free-throw line, touches his socks, his shorts, receives the ball, bounces it exactly three times, and then he is ready to rise and shoot, exactly as he’s done a hundred times a day in practice. By making the start of the sequence automatic, they replace doubt and fear with comfort and routine."
Dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp wrote the book “Creative Habit” and the advice found within its pages has been used as an example of how athletes can school artists (and vice versa) on creating positive habits. Shooting hoops or swimming laps can also teach us something about setting aside time to draw or work on our portfolios. If you haven’t checked out her book yet, it’s highly recommended and makes you think that a successful creative life is the result of keeping strict routines, as opposed to seemingly random waves of inspiration that wash over us.