Resolution Convolution

At this time of year, you may be focusing a lot of energy on keeping one or more New Year’s resolutions. Focused attention can often make the difference between success and failure, but it can also get in the way. Sometimes we can accomplish a lot more by not trying.

Coming up with new ideas is a case in point. It’s often more productive to use the incubation technique than to try to generate a new idea by brute force.

How many times have you remembered the thing you were struggling to remember as soon as you forgot trying to remember it? How many times have you had a great idea in the shower or while driving? Often our minds work best in the background. A basic productive thinking principle is to steep yourself in your issue and then forget about it for a while. Relax. Listen to music. Stroll in the sunshine. Daydream. It’s important to give your subconscious the time it needs to do its magic. So if at first you don’t succeed, take a break.

And have a happy new year.

“You never have to try to breathe in, just out.” — Jan Simons (1925-2006) vocal coach

Leave a Reply