Here’s a quick experiment for you to try: Ask the next ten people you see when and where they get their best ideas. Without having the foggiest notion about who you’re likely to ask or what business they might be in, we’re still willing to wager that many (if not most) are going to say, “In the shower!”
Why is that? How is it that a shower can be such a ubiquitous incubator for great ideas?
Here are a few things for you to consider:
- Showering often psychologically equates to a “fresh start” that inspires most people to process new ideas.
- You’re usually alone and rarely interrupted, giving you the time and ability to allow your thought process to flow freely without distraction. (This point clearly does not apply to the parents of young children!)
- Many people find it difficult to effectively concentrate when in silent surroundings. The presence of “white noise” calms the mind and allows you to think in peace. A shower is basically a white noise machine – with hot, soapy water to help you relax.
- The next time you’re near a body of water (i.e. sitting near a river, lake, or ocean) notice how it often makes you contemplative, inspiring you to reflect on things both large and small, allowing your mind to wander. Water, especially when it’s moving, seems to do this to a person on a basic psychological level.
- Taking a shower is an almost mindless ritual. Many innovative people use small rituals to begin the process of opening their minds to creative thought.
- When you’re in a shower, no one is there to give you grief or casually dismiss your ideas. This gives you the opportunity to flesh out your idea without judgment or premature criticism.
- Showering wakes you up and makes you more alert. Your brain simply works better than it did just a few moments before.
- Other than getting clean, there is nothing at all expected of you. The pressure is off, freeing your mind to wander creatively.
These are just a few of the ways taking a shower can induce creative thought.
So, are you looking for that next big idea that will put your company on track for a more successful future? The next time you’re lathering up, allow your mind to wander freely. You just might come up with that Next Big Thing that will revolutionize your business – or maybe the world!