I read an interesting interview in the New York Times last weekend with Brian Halligan, CEO and Founder of Hubspot. While a fairly standard interview for the Business section, I was caught by something he said about himself….he told the interviewer that he is “a huge nap guy.” By this, he says that he has found that when he comes up with good ideas, they tend to happen when he is either falling into or coming out of a nap. With the goal of thinking more and working less, he is working to engineer more opportunities like this (yes, naps…) into his life, and is encouraging others to do so as well.
I think that’s cool. The awareness to know when you have moments of inspiration is something few people have. Also, I could use a nap most of the time….
This got me thinking along several lines.
When I look at my irregular cycles of creativity, I note that many of them take place in the shower. Thankfully, since THAT is a regular occurrence, I have plenty of chances for inspiration to strike. However, I also note that my flashes of creativity DO NOT happen around nap time.
What this tells me is that, if I’m to encourage you toward unleashing your creative impulses, I don’t want to encourage you to take numerous showers or a lot of naps. I want to encourage you to listen to your hearts, pay attention to the flow of your lives and take note, over time, when these flashes take place. This may likely take time, and you may find that it’s NOT where or when you think or want it to be (and many times will not be in the heat of the moment in your next brainstorming session with your team….unless that DOES work for you…). The pattern, if there is one, may not be obvious.
The other thing I have noticed about my ‘flashes of inspiration’ is that most of the time they don’t survive the actual shower, so to speak. What I mean is that the shower is not the most conducive spot to write anything down, or in some other way capture the thought. Are these gems of intellect lost to the universe, never to be appreciated or brought to fruition? Yeah…..pretty much.
There are, I know, some who feel that these thoughts could and should be captured. Maybe, but I have a more organic approach, I feel. My approach takes into account ‘being in the moment’ of enjoying the thought, idea or flash at that point. If I can’t enjoy it at the point of creation, as well as give it a few moments to come to full flower, I will lose something. I certainly lose the moment by grasping to save it or trying to do something so I can repeat it at a later time. I’ve enjoyed a great number moments that that…..I’ve also forgotten most of them shortly after stepping out of the shower.
Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so. The ideas that sink deeper into me and reappear a bit later (like the idea for this post, for example…) have had a chance to mature and find a bit of voice on their own, to their benefit. Following this pattern, for me, has been fruitful, despite having ‘lost’ most of the ideas I’ve had in the shower.
That awareness, being in the moment, is where life takes place. Enjoy that and the inspiration will come into being when it’s right.
- How to think in the shower (nevalalee.wordpress.com)
- Naming & Innovation: Sleep On It (appliedstorytelling.com)
- 4 Ways To Break The Deadlock And Get Your Team Thinking Creatively Again (fastcompany.com)