“92% of million dollar ideas are thought up in the shower”
- Ghandi (source not verified)
It’s a known fact that you can’t come up with a new idea if you’re too caught up in what’s going on right here, right now. If you’re mind is buzzing and overly ‘busy’:
- You can’t solve that nagging problem.
- You can’t find the solution to your troubles.
- You will be frustrated.
Every wonder why much of the time the answers come to you as your halfway through shampooing your hair? Or 63 sheep deep into the land of sleep?
That’s your mind doing what it was designed to do…
The subconscious brain is a powerful beast. It’s been around for a millennia more than our conscious mind. Your subconscious mind holds the key to primitive, often unexplainable, processes such as feelings, perceptions, love, fear, morality and social interaction.
These days, the outer layer of our brains have taken hold of the reigns and often refuse to let go. The neocortex is where conscious thought and logic are housed. It’s the newest addition and, while it has led us to where we are today, can be holding you back.
We live in a world of distractions.
It’s a bare-knuckle brawl for our attention. Colleagues, marketers, friends and family. The latest Netflix series trying to suck you in. The barrage of messages we are slapping in the face with. Social media ping, email dings, and text message rings — there’s a lot going on.
Did you know that we are subject to roughly 5000 advertisements every single day?
Our conscious brain can quickly become overwhelmed by all this.
Sometimes you need to switch off.
This post occurred during a period of break. Lying down, eyes closed and generating ideas by the dozen.
The human mind is fantastic. It conjured up Frodo’s journey to Mordor and it developed huge bird-like structures that fly through the air against all odds. We have the capabilities to come up with all sorts of majestic thoughts. And one of them could be the answer you’ve been waiting for.
We should be using our mind it’s full capacity.
We need time to think.
You can bet Frodo wouldn’t have made it to Mordor if Tolkein was too caught up in trying to write. Thought comes before writing. Before a single letter was scrawled on a blank sheet of paper he must have thought about what he was writing.
He must have had an ‘Aha’ moment.
Thought is what we are made for yet most people don’t make the most of it. They don’t think. They just do. They live in a world of distractions and allow their attention to bounce from one thing to the next like the energiser bunny on cocaine.
Are you one of those people?
These ‘Aha’ moments won’t happen if you don’t let them. You must switch off and allow your mind to wander. Allow the subconscious to manifest it’s own ideas about what’s going on. You can tune into your gut feelings and observe life from a higher plane.
Newton developed his ideas about gravity sitting outside under an apple tree. He was chilling and not worried about the task at hand. Suddenly…
An apple corked him right on the head. And it all made sense.
It’s not about ‘not working’, it’s about knowing when not to work.
There’s a time and a place for taking a break to switch off. It’s not that often. You’ll get further by focusing on working your balls off and making great things happen through sheer work ethic. Still, breaks are necessary.
The ability of knowing when to focus and when to switch off is one of the characteristics of great men. A balancing act between hardcore breakdown of the task at hand and meditative reflection and mindfulness.
Once you can harness the power of both… well, you’re going to be a hell of a lot more successful in anything you do.
Taking a break is not the same as giving up.
Not even close. It’s you taking a different approach to solve your problem. Although you are not technically working (as in output), you are thinking which is far more valuable as it leads to a higher quality AND quantity of output.
We need more thinking time.
If our valuable ability to think was under-utilised we may not have the Lord of the Rings, our theory of gravity and definitely not this article.
To name just a few of the billions…
Meditation for the Modern Man is the perfect way to learn how to 'switch off' and get more thinking time in (without looking like a hippie).