Have you ever been in the shower and the answer to a problem you have been struggling with just suddenly becomes clear? Or been working out when suddenly your best idea ever pops in to your brain? Have you ever wondered why that happens?
Your brain is like the vast ocean. The problem is your immediate access to that vast ocean is via your working memory which is about the size of a glass. It can’t hold much before it overflows.
So when you sit at work puzzling over a problem you are literally turning that problem over and over in a tight little glass. When you finally give up, empty your working memory, suddenly all different things can pop into that little memory box and you will “suddenly” get inspiration like a bolt of lightening.
My best ideas often come on vacation, out golfing, when I am meditating to music or… and this one I must admit bugs me because I haven’t found a system I like for capturing the ideas, when I am in a deep sleep in the middle of the night. I can’t tell you how much copy I have written, new program inspirations or simple solutions to complex problems have come to me in the middle of the night. For a person who likes to have control and order in her life, this puts me in a quandary because I need to realize that my best ideas don’t come because of me, but rather in spite of me.
So this week, let go. Take a jog, a walk, listen to some music or just sit with nature. Think of one good question you want the answer to and then let it go. The answer that comes back may just surprise you.