Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Your Time To Think

I watched a fascinating documentary on Albert Einstein this past weekend. For those of you who don't know, I have always been a huge fan of Mr. Einstein, both for his intellect and for his struggles with his inner-personal relationships.

As I watched this very well done documentary on his life the thing that stuck out the most for me was the incredible amount of time he dedicated to just thinking. By all accounts, he would spend hours alone in his study just pondering the mysteries of life. He would construct incredibly complex theories without any of the modern day conveniences you and I have. No, Einstein was alone with his imagination, his intellect and a simple pencil and paper.

It goes without saying that the time he dedicated to just thinking perhaps altered the course of the world.

Now I am sure you are thinking the exact same thing I was.  Sure, it's Einstein, he was brilliant.  I could never do that.

Don't be so sure about that.

There is much research on the power of disconnecting and allowing ourselves to just ponder.  Whether it's trying to find a solution to a difficult problem or perhaps coming up with a great invention or next big start-up idea.  The amount of time and energy one dedicates to just thinking has an incredible impact on our ability to make things happen.

Don't believe me? read a book about how the brain works or how our minds process information.  Both Brain Rules by John Medina and The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar are excellent reads on how our brains work and why it's necessary for us to spend time consciously contemplating "stuff!"

I use the time on my morning treadmill run to think.  The exercise seems to stimulate my creativity and helps my mind come into focus.  When I don't have anything particularly of importance on my mind I often use my iPod or iPad to watch a documentary or a video.  Yesterday, as I was running I was watching some of the TEDidea podcasts and came across a video by Jason Fried of 37 Signals.  He touched on the importance of being left alone to work.  It struck me as odd timing that on the heels of watching the documentary on Mr. Einstein and the point that resonated with me about his time spent alone, thinking and working, that this video just randomly popped up.

Coincidence?  Maybe.  Good advice?  Definitely!

I plan to dedicate some serious time just thinking - letting my mind unwind and stretch a bit.  I suggest you do the same.  Work the thinking time into your schedule and guard it! Who knows, together we may just think up the next big thing that changes the world.

Hey...it could happen!

Ripple On!!!

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Maria Gatling said...

Great post Steve! One of the best things you can do for yourself as well as for others is to spend time alone. For me, my morning walk clears my mind, gives me some clarity, solutions and ideas. I guess it's my way of clearing the mental clutter every morning and starting fresh!

raj said...

thanx steve,its a nice artical you have written,i like it so much.