Where do new ideas come from?

by jon on February 24, 2012

I was having lunch with a good friend the other day, and she was joking that it seems everyone’s best ideas always come to them in the shower.  I started to think about this some more, because I am fascinated with how we come up with new ideas. For me, it always has something to do with being more present in my life.

So, lets think about this shower example.  Unless you have a waterproof case or special shower, you don’t have a phone, tv or computer in the shower.  No technology for the most part like mine below.

So, without all the distractions and mass of information coming at us, something like being in the shower can make us more present with our lives.  People can just be who they are.  And when people just be who they are, their best stuff seems to come to the surface.

How else can we take time to just be present and take time for ourselves? Some of my best ideas come on a jog or just relaxing on the couch with some music and no TV. Or a taking walk with my dog. I focus on that amazing feeling of just being outside and observing the trees, the sounds and the sky.

I am trying to do less of what I used to do which was walking at night with a flashlight duck taped to a hat, book in hand, headphones on and dog leash wrapped around my waist.  Probably a little too much going on, and my neighbors thought I was a little weird.  haha.

I did create a learning goal around this concept of taking more time to be present that I thought I would share:

“Be mindful of taking time for myself so I can learn, grow and deeply connect with others.”

A few of my measurables:

-At least three walks a week outside of my normal exercise regiment.

-Meditate three times a week.

-I will take an internet holiday once a quarter.  Essentially, a 24 hr break from all technology except phone calls in case of an emergency.  No tv, internet, text, social media, etc.

I also want to eat more meals where I just enjoy my food and each bite. So many times I have a meal with the iPad, book or something else going on and forget I am even eating. A good friend sent me this video that I used as my new food motto now: “Enjoy Every Sandwich.” It helps me slow down when I feel like I am running too much.

So where do your best ideas come from? I would love to hear what works for you or makes you more present in your life! Maybe you can even join me on one of my quarterly internet holidays!  Have a great weekend.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lori Lynn February 24, 2012 at 8:27 am

I think mine come when I’m trying to fall asleep at night (that would be why it takes me close to an hour to go to sleep!), when I’m exercising, or sometimes first thing in the morning. I suppose that’s when my mind is actually more “free,” and I’m not balancing a zillion things!

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jon February 26, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Thanks Lori! You hit on an important point of finding that time when the mind is free! Good stuff. Hope you are having a great weekend.

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Nikki February 24, 2012 at 10:31 am

When I feel like I’m hitting a brick wall with a project, I grab the dog, leave my ipod behind, and go out for a quick walk. It’s amazing how much “good thinking” gets done and I come back feeling so refreshed. It’s far more productive than chaining myself to my desk.

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jon February 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm

That is a great technique to re-center yourself. Thanks for sharing Nikki. I started just lying down for 10 minutes and even if I don’t sleep, it is a great time to just shut down and I always come back feeling refreshed.

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