Ah Ha! The Kitchen Sink

by - m on 01/09/2012

When I’m having trouble with a particular problem, I clean my kitchen sink.

I grab my cleaner of choice (Bar Keeper’s Friend), sprinkle liberally and scrub. As my mind concentrates on the task, my sub conscience takes flight…

Ideas and solutions seem to bubble to my conscience mind.

This isn’t Hocus-Pocus. Neuroscience suggests that our brain needs relaxation tasks. Science journalist Jonah Lehrer states:

“The relaxation phase is crucial. That’s why so many insights happen during warm showers. … One of the surprising lessons of this research is that trying to force an insight can actually prevent the insight.”

Eric Tamm, in his book, Brian Eno: His Music and The Vertical Sound of Color, quotes musician Brian Eno:

“The difficulty of always feeling that you ought to be doing something is that you tend to undervalue the times when you’re apparently doing nothing, and those are very important times.”

So the next time you are struggling with a sticky problem, just relax…

Take a shower.

Walk the dog.

Vacuum the room.

You may possibly have that Ah Ha! moment…

And you have nothing to lose except fat pets and some dirt.

– m

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