Let It Be Dancing in the Dark

By Marty Finestone. First published September 23, 2021.

Let It Be

Here’s the TL;DR: give yourself time and space to solve a challenge. This suggestion owes a lot to the lyrics Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney.

  • “You can’t start a fire without a spark” – Bruce Springsteen Dancing in the Dark
  • “There will be an answer, let it be” The Beatles Let It Be


Read on to get the whole story.

I am working on a project to help the remote work/work from home experience for the legal community. It’s been a scene.

I began by bursting with ideas and excitement to later feeling like I’m walking slowly down an alley with big wads of chewing gum stuck to both my shoes. And not the good chewing gum. This lull had me wishing I could get my skis shined up and grab a stick of Juicy Fruit to let the taste move me. I wanted to be moved back to the place I started out from, being filled with ideas and excitement. Instead, my bubble burst. Or so I thought.

Losing momentum on a project happens. We get an idea, task, offer, or problem to solve that tickles our brains and we want to have at it. But then the roadblocks emerge: a lack of time, resources, or both. Or maybe we get decision fatigue because there are so many decisions or choices to be made. Or we encounter apathy or opposition from stakeholders. Or maybe it’s a gumbo of unpleasantness.

Before we know it, we’ve gone from being 9 or 10 to feeling like a 3. Maybe even a 2.

Candidly, I don’t always turn that 2 or 3 back to a 9 or 10. That’s my reality. But if I can get it up to a 6, then maybe that’s enough just to see that task/thing through. That’s the hope. That’s the dream.

Every so often I get lucky, and the universe throws me a measure of perspective, inspiration, or understanding that creates a spark to get me back to 9 or 10.

Coming back to my situation with this remote work project, I got my spark on Monday 😊. I have the name for this “thing” I’m creating! I can’t wait to share more about it, but that’s not what this column is about.

Without a name I was stuck (hence the earlier gum metaphor). Without a name, any name, I can’t progress too far down the practical implementation path for this “thing.” I placed a lot of importance on the name and having to get it right (whatever that meant). Next to the project idea, the name is the most important. It’s the penultimate in importance! In my head I told myself that a good name is essential to success. The name is essential to other people being excited about this “thing” and wanting to be involved. Without a good name the raison d’être is lost. Woah, that’s a lot of pressure.

So ya, I now have the name. Even better, I got a spark that fired me up again to be motivated to not only wanting to do this “thing,” but to completely dedicate myself to it. I now feel like a 9.3.

How do I get to 9.3? How did I solve a problem like Maria (that is needing a good and memorable name)? This is the important part. This is the big takeaway. I let it be.

At first, I tried brainstorming. Then I tried to not worry about my predicament. After that, I added trying to not worry about worrying about the predicament (hello my fellow anxiety sufferers). None of that worked. Finally, I remembered something that has helped me in the past: let it be.

I told myself that name will come, and I will get it right, but the time for that to happen is not now. It’ll happen when it will happen. Just tend to other matters Marty, and let it be.

With that mindset shift, I stopped actively thinking about the problem. I pushed pause. I put the challenge to the side. I didn’t actively let this challenge rent space inside my head. Without feeling like there was a problem to be solved right here, right now, and without ruminating over the situation, my mind had the space and time it needed. The name just came to me.

Next time you’re stuck on something or feel your momentum waning, listen to Paul McCartney sing “[t]here will be an answer, let it be.”