Thursday, January 20, 2011

Structure Will Set You Free - Some Resources to Help You Focus

Most people think a disciplined approach to life is the opposite of a creative approach to life.

Actually, that's not true. Nearly all highly productive creative people have ingrained patterns of focus and discipline. Without work structure, where they focus on priority projects in a disciplined way - instead of doing something else that's easier and more fun - they wouldn't get their creative projects done. The most successful creative talents have well-established patterns of structure that get them focused during specific times of the day.

I used to kid some of my spontaneous, fun-loving creative friends by saying, "Structure will set you free." They would laugh as if I didn't know what I was talking about. There goes Denny being Denny. But I wasn't kidding.

Structure means focus, which means limits and boundaries. Because creativity has unlimited possibilities, it's capable of expanding in every direction, like a gas. But once a gas expands, it looses its identity, power and usefulness. Contain it, and the gas can be directed to accomplish something specific.

Beth Westmark, a long-time blog buddy who has enormous literary talent, posted recently about seeing the light about focus. It's an inspiring revelation.

To achieve what you want, time is the most precious resource you have. And it's running out, baby. Here are a couple other resources that may help... 

1. A secret I learned from Eben Pagan about getting focused...

2. The best book I've ever read on staying focused...

Make 2011 the year you kicked major butt.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2010. Building Personal Strength . (Permission to use photo purchased from


Elizabeth (Beth) Westmark said...

Thank you, Denny.

The best thing I have done to (finally) make no b.s. progress with my fiction manuscript was to shut down Twitter, blog intentionally rather than stream-of-conscious, back off Facebook almost completely, and finally, to take the time to write a 2,000 word synopsis of the book BEFORE I sallied forth and wrote myself into a corner again. Astonishing the difference that step has made.

I believe it. Structure WILL set us free.

John Caswell said...

100% agree with you! 10 years now (probably 40( proving that structure breeds creativity! Great work and keep it up!

2gnoME said...

This is a great post! How does one know if she/he is creative though? We have a test that shows you what you are vs. what you think vs. what your friends think! Check it out here: