We lived in an inner city suburb north of the city for a short time in 2012.
The big hill in the middle of the local park was made by people. The park was built on an old dump site. From the top, the buildings of the city looked great.
As part of a business course I was taking, I was writing a book. I was having a hard time coming up with the right title.
So, I would sit on a bench and look at the city for hours, sorting through ideas and getting rid of the ones that didn’t work. I was less sure about writing the book the more I thought about it.
A set of exercises to “unpack my value” had been a part of the process. I felt like I had too much to choose from.
In his book “The Parody of Choice,” Dr. Barry Schwartz wrote, “When we are faced with what seems like an endless number of choices, our ability to make decisions slows down and we can become disabled.”
I’ve got my own idea. The Lizard liked it when I thought too much. Its call to action is not making a choice. It made me feel like I’d been wasting hours of useful billable time. So I added guilt to the mix.
When looking for a “light bulb moment,”
I needed a flash of insight. But how is something like that made?
R. Keith Sawyer is an expert on creativity who is known all over the world.
In an interview with the Times, he talked about his research on creativity and mentioned the three B’s: the bathtub, the bed, and the bus. The places where we take a break from the problems and issues of our daily lives so that we can “change what we’re doing and the context and activate different parts of the brain.”
People have also said that daydreaming, which is something we often do in the “three b’s,” helps us come up with new ideas.
Research shows that we can daydream for up to a third of the time we are awake, and that when we do, the same parts of the brain are used to make decisions as when we are focused on something.
In one study, observations showed that “current personal concerns and unresolved issues” are often at the heart of mind wandering.
I decided to take a break because I was tired of overthinking and not coming to a decision. I also wanted to shut the Lizard up.
Not long after that, I was walking while daydreaming and listening to some random rock song. The phrase “immutable laws” came up out of nowhere. No reference, no context. Then came the seven words, which later turned into the seven principles that I used to write the book and now use to run my business as a coach.
A “lightbulb” moment that changed his life.
Clarity is a nice place to be.
Even though this is just my theory, science seems to back it up. To find clarity, you have to be in a place where you have “current personal concerns and unresolved issues.”
For a lightbulb moment to happen, you have to go through a process that fills your brain with all the information, all the possibilities, and all the options in any given situation.
Ask anyone who has taken Talk on Purpose, a class I teach with another person.
People don’t seem to understand how the course starts. They thought they knew what they wanted to talk about and why, but the choices we give them make it hard for them to decide.
From a place of chaos and confusion, the right idea sometimes seems to pop out at the last minute. To a one, they graduate with speech that is smooth, makes sense, and is directed. Some people say it changes their lives.
Clarity is something that we all really want.
And it usually happens when you are having fun, relaxing, or daydreaming and not working so hard that your brain wants to break.
So, I’m happy to invite you all to the upcoming Through a Glass, Brightly, clarity webinar series.