Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Random Journey to Somewhere

I have a TiVo, well actually two which I love. This thought crossed my mind today as I sat staring at the white background of Microsoft Word. A background I might add that should have been covered with words. So, I thought of the dreaded “blue screen of death” feared by TiVo users. Of course thankfully my TiVo has never been broken which then made me think of things that had been broken. This is the random thought process in which I often engage when words fail me.

At one time I would have chided myself for engaging in pointless head chatter. I have learned, however, that allowing my mind to wander and roam free often actually leads somewhere. It leads to a place, a thought , an idea that never would have been allowed to form in my otherwise structured, deadline driven day. So often in doing nothing I accomplish a great deal.

Everyone can find value in allowing time to drift along with their thoughts being carried wherever they may lead. Seemingly unrelated threads can sometimes form the basis of true innovation. Far too often in business we focus so much on structure that we miss the opportunity to dream, plan, visualize and create.

Engaging in random thought is different than brainstorming. With brainstorming you are still focused on a specific problem or concept. You simply free yourself from censoring any idea or solution. Random thought is wholly unstructured in every way. You take a back seat and allow your thoughts to do all the driving. Random thoughts have a number of benefits including:

· They can help you overcome a challenge or problem. Giving your mind a break from mulling over something can often lead you right to a solution.

· They can reveal underlying issues that you have been avoiding.

· They can reignite your creative spark.

· They open the dam and allow a release of fresh thinking and new ideas.

· They help you to recover lost memories.

The next time you find your mind drifting along don’t try to harness your thoughts. Unless of course you’re behind the wheel of a car in rush hour traffic! Otherwise, give yourself the freedom to drift along on a sea of random thoughts. You may be happily surprised where those thoughts take you.

This post was inspired by the awesome writer, Joanna Young who wrote a post on Random Facts which got me thinking….

3 comments:

Joanna said...

Karen, thanks for this lovely post. I'm glad you picked up the voluntary tag :-)

I like what you say about random thoughts. I think it's a question of not being afraid of them, not needing to be in control all the time. Just allowing ourselves to be, sometimes, and learning from what emerges.

Joanna

Words For Hire said...

Joanna,thank you for your comment. You are so right it is a bit scary to let go. Thanks for being a constant source of inspiration and insight.

Karen

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