Turf, as a slang term, was first popularized in the early fifties. It describes the specific territory claimed by a gang, anything from a street to a few blocks to the entire neighborhood, over which one group asserts its authority. Athletes call this the home field advantage, which, appropriately enough, has actual turf. Point being, when you’re on your own turf, you have an edge. Physically and psychologically, there are always a few tricks up your sleeve that the competition isn’t expecting. There have even been studies proving how gamblers can increase their winning percentage if they place strategic bets based the team with the home field advantage. This issue has profound implications for the world of ideas. Because as creators, each of us has our unique version of this space. Pressfield’s description has always stuck with me. Our territory is our home turf. If we were hawks or wolves, it would be our hunting ground. It’s where we rule. If we’re getting our butt kicked by doubt, it’s because we strayed off the territorial path.
Thoughtfully and intentionally creating a diversity of environments that are framed to support our individual pursuit of meaning
What’s your primary creative environment? What are the essential environment assets that reflect who you are and what’s important to you, so that the ideas flow as a natural consequence? And yet, there is also a balance. We don’t want to become overly dependent on our turf. Otherwise we might use our lack of home field advantage as an excuse or crutch. Like musicians who can't compose a note without their special vanilla chai latte. Or painters who can’t finish a canvas without their special scented candle. Or programmers who can’t code a line without their death metal playlist and noise cancelling headphones. Kudos to them for having a personal ritual that brings them joy, but if their work is being held up by it, then they’re not being mature creators.
One of the tools that transformed my creative practice was something called a portable creative environment. This is an alternative workspace that functions as a transportable lightning rod, tailor made to your artistic tendencies, which enables you to snap into work mode and make the word flesh. For me, it includes a custom designed suite of software programs designed specifically to help be prolific anywhere, anytime; along with a private, cloud based content management system that gives me access to my notes remotely.
Out of your element? Bring your own turf with you. Not that your creative process can’t thrive without it. But it’s calming to know that you don’t have to be at home to have a home field advantage.
How could you bring your turf with you?
Trigger healthy creative habits without thinking
Modifying your physical environment to nurture and relax you
Optimize the user interfaces for your mind, body and spirit
Elevate your psychic effectiveness and rejuvenate yourself spiritually