Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Written by: JonGordon
Where are you when you get your best ideas? This was a question posed by Michael Gelb, author of "How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci". Most people say the shower, bed, garden, the walking path or treadmill. Hardly anyone says great ideas come at work. In fact Robert Frost once joked "The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and doesn't stop until you get to work". While it may not be that bad, from our own experiences we know that at work we feel more stress, pressure and frustration. We often try to fight through fatigue, hunger, and deadlines to get the job done. We push harder, work longer and challenge ourselves every day. But unfortunately the harder we fight the less our energy flows.
The harder we think the less our great ideas will appear. Like being in a dating slump, batting slump, writing slump, sales slump, mid life crisis slump, mommy slump, or daddy slump the more you fight it the further you fall. Many of the great scientist would tell you that their world changing break through ideas came about not when they were thinking about their projects but rather during moments of silence or by doing tasks unrelated to their project. Great ideas come to many of us during a shower because this is when we are usually most relaxed. Think about it. You're in the shower singing (hopefully where no one can hear you) and bang an idea pops into your head. I bet you also have great ideas when you are on vacation.
They also probably come to you when you are driving in your car with the radio off. Or it is likely that your best ideas whisper in your ear and wake you up in the morning. Mine often do. Wherever and whenever your best ideas strike, it is important to understand that it is not by accident. When we take breaks during our day and allow ourselves brief moments of silence we allow the natural flow of energy to flow through us. Where stress, anxiety, pushing and fighting block our creative energy, moments of silence, fun, play, and exercise allow us to relax, recharge and connect with our creative force.
We are naturally creative beings. We were born to create. And great ideas were meant to pop into our heads. The only thing that stops this is us and our energy blockers. So the next time you're stumped at work, have writers block, get fed up with the kids, feel burned out, or need to break out of a slump remember to do what Leonardo da Vinci did. Take short breaks to recharge, rejuvenate and refocus. Try the following action steps to recharge your creative energy and tap the amazing ideas that want to flow through you.
1. When the pressure mounts and the last thing you want to do is take a break, acknowledge that this is probably the time that you need one the most. Then do it. Do something completely different from the project at hand.
2. Take a 10 minute silent break each day. Schedule it or it won't happen.
3. Shut the cell phone off. I have been doing this lately. You'll be amazed at the ideas you come up with when you don't have someone talking in your ear all the time.
4. Take a day for yourself and do nothing but relax and read or watch rented movies.
5. Journal each night before you go to bed.
6. Practice Yoga, Tai Chi or Qigong in the morning.