I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was a blessed one. Before we pick up today again with the superb ideas coming from the book The Net and the Butterfly by authors Olivia Cabane and Judah Pollack, just a quick reminder to revisit how you are doing with getting the inner critic under control so that the bandwidth can be freed up for the ideas we will touch on today. With that in mind, let’s get into what the authors call
The Breakthrough Formula
Problems that seem to have no clear solution are of course frustrating. The feeling of running into a brick wall of thought is exhausting. Believe it or not, you’re not going to force your mind to a solution. It’s going to take some purposeful thought on your part to be sure, but some of the greatest breakthroughs come when the mind is allowed to wander. This was documented well in the classic book Creativity, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, which I would rank in my top 20 list. His research on how creative thought is generated is seminal.
So here’s the two step process to breaking down the walls of mind blocks and unsolvable problems:
Think about your problem, actively dissect the different points of it, give it a day, give it a couple of days.
Now stop, and let your mind wander.
Now for those of you who have two gears for your brain: 100% or sleep, this may be tricky. However, our minds are set at ease when we are physically busy. Our minds are better able to wander. Better able to reach solutions.
Here are a few suggestions for breakthrough activities directly from the authors. Menial as they may sound – they work:
1. Doing puzzles
2. Watching a movie you’ve seen countless times
3. Watching sunlight through the trees
4. Staring out the window
5. Running without music or any media input
6. Washing dishes by hand
7. Playing video games
8. Folding laundry
9. Cleaning a cluttered space
10. Doodling, drawing, or using an adult coloring book
11. Cooking a meal you’ve cooked many times before
12. Take a walk without any electronics on hand
I invite each of you to try it today. What problem is at the forefront of your mind? Professional or personal, don’t imagine that they don’t impact each other. This is learning a new neural pathway. This is how creative thinking starts. But it takes time and intentionality to do it!
Write the problem down, dissect it, analyze it, take all the time you need, and then let the mindlessness begin. Wash the dishes, fold the clothes. Answers come when we least expect them… the eureka moments. Let your mind wander, wander through thousands of points of data that your active thinking has provided.
Whether it be a conflict with a co-worker, or a conflict with a family member.
This breakthrough formula is vital to anyone who’s tired of running into the brick walls of no solution.
Cut your frustration at the root, and let your mind do the work.
One last step, write down the insights when you have them. Document the patterns of how you break through. What is observed and noted can be replicated. That is how new patterns start…and most importantly continue.