Essential Items: Packing Your Flashlight

20 Oct 2016

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It’s the middle of the night. The stars are a silent canopy above. The quiet is lulling and Greg is starting to fall asleep.

Suddenly, he hears a rustling outside his tent. An animal? A person? Without thinking, he grabs his flashlight and jumps out of the tent. There’s no time to waste.

The creative process can sometimes feel like being awoken in the middle of the night. Cultivating alertness and readiness doesn’t come by accident. What you’ve put by “your bedside” or “in your tent” will be what you’re able to take with you, when the moment beckons.

Here at Radar, we believe that learning how to make space for creative insight is much like having a flashlight ready in the dark. Turn on the light in a moment’s notice: shine the beams on something you might have missed, otherwise.

Yes, “chance favors the prepared mind” (Louis Pasteur) so perhaps being prepared for bursts of ideation means cultivating an ability to stay present. But how do we do that, exactly?

Getting outdoors, breathing in fresh air, going on a run, taking a long walk, (and to bring it back full-circle) perhaps even camping itself can teach us how to stay present and remain in the moment. Sometimes we just need a reset.

Do you need a reset? What can you do this week to make sure you’re “packing your flashlight”?

For us at Radar, sometimes just having a moleskine in our back pocket reminds us stay present. Never under estimate the ability to take notes on mundane things. The creative process demands that we have the tools ready to shine a light on new ideas.

Remembering to “pack your flashlight” won’t happen overnight. It takes practice. Here’s to practicing the habits that truly matter.


The Camping Creative is the fifth of a multi-part blog series, tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity.  Read the first post here.

[image of flashlight from Creative commons by Cezary Borysiuk]