How to Expand Your Mind in a World of Complacency

Andrew Lovgren is a skater and filmmaker who is interested in exploring the deeper, more creative aspects of skating. His first film, Freelingfollowed a group of skaters through the streets of Kansas City to try to understand that free feeling that seems to only be found in this kind of floating-slighty-above-the-earth activity. Now he’s working on his next film, Symirroretry, complete with a Kickstarter campaign. The film pits two male characters against each other on the quest for one female character through a world of mirrors. He’s twisting the traditional documentary format into a vehicle for further storytelling, but he’ll be using interviews with artists/skaters to get to the deeper roots he’s always digging for. Since he has an interesting perspective on being creative in the modern world, we asked him to walk us through some of the ways he manages to come up with fresh ideas. 

How to expand your mind within a world of complacency. 
The mind is a special gift. We all use it differently. Some use it to feel, love or imagine. Of course, we all do each of these things, but some push these to their outer limits. In my case, feeling and imagining was my niche. I always try to break down the moments in life to fully experience things, unpack them, and turn them into newly imagined things. Here are some ways you can find and expand your gifts.


Step 1: Listen to deep music 
Music is a powerful tool. Use it. Find beauty in what you’re listening to. Experimental dark ambient music for me gets the engines rolling and was the case for Symirroretry. Enable that little TV screen in your head and imagine whatever you’re feeling. Listen to music that comfortably discomforts you. Music that keeps you thinking, what am I listening to? That’s the golden stuff. 

Step 2: Take long drives 
As simple as it sounds; long drives are great thinking time. Get away from home. Put yourself somewhere new. Inspiration comes from anything and everything. My drives usually consist of adventuring to the Kansan country past midnight. There’s something about driving long distances at night with no one around that enables those “ah ha!” moments.

Step 3: Enjoy the little things

Sunsets. 

Step 4: Write ideas down on your phone 
Inspiration comes from anything and everything. Ideas are the future. Write them down wherever you are. You might think, “Oh, I’ll write it later.” Trust me, you will forget, so write it down right then and there. Having a note on your phone of thoughts and inspiration is a great source to look back on for ideas. I’ve visited my notes countless times for inspiration for my films.

Step 5: Approach all living moments as learning opportunities
In our busy lives we often think, “I wish I had more time.” Truth is, we do. Know what you want in life. That’s not an easy task by any means, but once you truly know, use every moment to mold that goal into a personal masterpiece. For example, I started making music just this last year, and now I approach every song I listen to as an opportunity to hear the artist’s production. I focus on the “how’s” and think, how can I apply this to my music? Using your time to learn in every sort of way will further expand your thinking.

Step 6: Give yourself time
Ideas don’t come straight away. Give yourself time to let inspiration lead the way. Symirroretry took months to even grasp a central meaning. I had so many ideas down on paper that it was overwhelming to have to connect everything in a way that’s understandable for everyone. I pushed myself, but connecting the ideas didn’t come straight away. It took living my life day to day knowing a pivotal idea could hit me across the head at any moment. Have patience.

Step 7: Use your resources

The Internet is your best friend. Why fail to understand something when you have the Internet? Search for the unknown. Strive to understand past your limits. We limit ourselves in this day and age yet we have tools beyond measure. The solution starts with you. Want it for yourself and make it happen. Don’t hang with the turkeys when you’re an eagle.

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