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Graham Birkenhead, October 7 2021

Hypnotic Shower Moments 

When I was a child, I had a VERY active imagination (I guess like a lot, if not most children).  I had limited exposure to the world, yet that didn't stop me.  Every new experience provided opportunities to ask more questions, everything I saw on television (even in black and white) or heard on the radio, or conversation overheard, gave me more input into a rapidly expanding realisation of how BIG and amazing the world, and the space beyond it was.   I wasn't too constrained by ideas of what could or could not happen in reality.  And, when something happened that I didn't like - or regretted - I was sure I could somehow turn back time and redo the whole thing again (still working on that one). 

I would often enter a state of flow where I would be lost in my own imaginings - it would happen automatically - and I would lose hours.  As time passed, also known as getting older or growing up, the realities of the real world became more apparent as I 'learned' from those around me, and this free-flow state of imagination happened less and less.  The bubble (or box) around me was forming - and firming up.  I recognised this happening during my teens, and though I didn't understand it, it scared me.  

Three (at least) careers later, I am still very aware of how easy it is to stop asking questions and being inquisitive about the world around me.  As pressures of the moment try to draw me into the here and now, it becomes so easy to stop looking into the distance both spatially or temporally. While our minds are incredible and enable us to imagine and plan, they also do like to take the easy option – energy efficient and safer. So, sometimes we have to give them a little nudge.

 Creativity is part of our natural mental toolbox - we don't need to overthink it.  We are all creative whether we like to admit it or not.  There is a technique that I have always used that has served me well – let’s just call it the 'hypnotic shower moment’ technique.  It works like this: 

 One of my early bosses told me:  "Don't solutionise the appreciation".  By better appreciating the issue and the world around it, we can come up with much better and creative solutions. And to a large extent, you brain will just do it - if you give it the space. 

Throughout my careers, understanding problems and coming up with creative ideas or solutions has been a central theme; including now working as a consultant. And if you are running a business in this rapidly evolving world; then the speed at which you can learn and adapt by developing creative solutions based on a solid appreciation or the world may be critical to your level of success.  

Bye for now

Graham

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If you want another perspective on taking a less overtly ‘action oriented’ approach to getting things done, you might like this article on Confusing Motion with Progress 

And here’s an article about understanding problems and developing solutions – One Rule and One Tool

Written by

Graham Birkenhead

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