In Defense Of Vacations and General Wandering Around
Did you know that almost all innovations, bright ideas, new discoveries and breakthroughs occur outside the office or laboratory?
The guy who figured out how to replicate DNA and thereby do DNA testing, got his big idea at mile marker 46.7 on Highway 128 in northern California. The man who invented the MRI had his breakthrough moment in a Big Boy. And a young commercial artist named Walt Disney had a wonderful idea for full length animated pictures watching movie commercials in a darkened theater.
There is a scientific reason that the best ideas come when you’re doing something completely unrelated to work. Your brain, you see, is very lazy. It likes to find efficient ways to doing things and it uses as many mental shortcuts as it can. When you go the same place and look at the same things, your brain stops having to think and begins to run on autopilot.
As a result, you end up getting the same outcomes you’ve always gotten. Face it, isn’t your income about what it was last year? Aren’t you having many of the same experiences and outcomes as you’ve always had?
If you want to dramatically change your outcomes, you have to dramatically change your scenery. You have to give your brain new things to see and perceive. Only then can it come up that great new idea to launch you into the next level of productivity and results.
The nice thing is that the parts of your brain that control perception (what you see) and imagination (what you think up) are the same. That means that the more novel things you throw at your brain, the more creative you become.
This week why don’t you:
- Drive to work a different way
- Sit on the other side of your office
- Eat lunch at a new place
- Watch CSPAN3
- Read a magazine you’ve never considered before
- Talk to prospect in a different industry than you’ve ever approached
- Read poetry
- Listen to a different radio station
- Start learning a new language
- Try origami
- Go to the library for an hour and read a science book
You get the idea. Shake things up. And don’t forget to plan your vacations for this year. Go someplace entirely new, preferably where they don’t speak your native language. You’ll be amazed at the creative new business ideas you develop when you’re not paying attention to business.