The advantage of doing nothing
Neuroscientists say our brain can only handle about half a dozen things at a time. That’s why our best thinking does not happen at the office. At work, there’s too much going on.
You don’t need science to tell you that. Vedic mystics picked up on it a thousand years ago and you have probably worked it out yourself.
I know that if I park a thought in the back of my mind, some related idea usually shows up later. It’s like remembering a name or word I couldn’t recall when initially prompted. Eventually it turns up, as long as I stop thinking about it.
New ideas are attracted to a vacuum
Good ideas are often not what you were expecting. If your mind is empty, there’s a chance you’ve left enough room for lateral ideas to move in, rather than just your usual stuff. Holidays are a good time to let ideas just float around in the ether. It’s one reason people feel creatively refreshed after a break.
Effort is not required. Here are three suggestions that can help ideas develop as long as you leave them alone. Don’t choose them all. You don’t want to be NOT thinking about too many things.
Your relationships. Do you have clients, customers or friends who have drifted off? What’s changed? Have they? Have you? Doesn’t matter which but is there anything tired about the way you are going about things? Do you or your business need a makeover? Do you need to restore your relevance? The answer might be in things like marketing or product development. But could it also be a simple change you can apply holistically across everything – in attitude, presentation and the way you deal with those around you, anywhere at any time?
You at your absolute best. Can you remember a time when you were really on fire; the day it all came together. You had an exceptional first date, made the amazing sale, got the big promotion, won the game or even just felt really good. If you had to put it down to one thing about you, what was it? Whatever is was, it’s something you’ve still got. How can you put it back into gear next year?
Park that memory of just how good you can be in the back of your mind and let it hang out there for the holidays.
Your expectations. Lower them; raise your appreciation instead. Maybe when you look around at what you’ve got, you might just be grateful; that how it is right now is perfectly OK; that maybe neither you nor your business needs to be fixed; that if there is anything that needs work, you might just give it the space to heal of its own accord. There is a peace in that place which is more powerful than some of the greatest ideas.
Once you’ve chosen, don’t think about it again. Just park it. Have no expectations. Just enjoy.
I’m about out of ideas for this year. I’m taking a break for the next month and looking forward to a peaceful time between now and then. I hope you get some rest as well. I would like to thank all of you – clients, readers, colleagues, and my family – for your support and feedback in the last year. It has been much appreciated. I look forward to being with you again in 2013.