A few +1s ago, we talked about Manoush Zomorodi’s great book Bored and Brilliant. We reflected on the fact that 25 minutes of time wasting per day equates to 2 YEARS of your life over the long run. (That’s C R A Z Y. You delete THAT app yet?)
We did’t talk about WHY allowing yourself to be “bored” leads to brilliance. Let’s do so today.
Here’s the deal.
There’s a whole field of neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists who study what happens to your brain when you allow it to relax.
Here’s how Manoush puts it: “When our minds wander, we activate something called the ‘default mode,’ the mental place where we solve problems and generate our best ideas, and engage in what’s known as ‘autobiographical planning,’ which is how we make sense of our world and our lives and set future goals. The default mode is also involved in how we try to understand and empathize with other people, and make moral judgments.”
Now, unfortunately, our friendly and wise neuroscientists have a bit of a branding problem.
Entering “Default mode” doesn’t really light your fire, does it? (And, what ambitious individual among us really wants to deliberately try to be “bored” per se, eh?)
But what if I told you that there’s a flip in your brain that you could switch that would turn on a NASA-like SUPERCOMPUTER that goes to work CRUSHING all your biggest challenges—not just seeing the best next steps for your creative opportunities, but helping you gain more clarity on your purpose and visualize your ideal future 2-5-10-25 years from now while integrating your past experiences into a coherent narrative AND solving all your thorniest interpersonal and moral challenges?!
Wouldn’t that be EPIC?!
Well, that’s EXACTLY what happens when you step away from the constant stimulation, turn the technology OFF and unplug.
That’s when the “Default Mode,” er, the SUPERCOMPUTER Mode takes over.
But… If all we do all day long is blow our brains up with one thing after another—from the app to the email to the work to the app to the text to the music to the podcast to the ENDLESS stimulation—then you never give your NASA-like SUPERCOMPUTER (!!) in your brain a chance to boot up!!
Which is why I keep on hammering away at the need to unplug. (I promise to continue. 🤓)
What’s one little thing you can do today to create a little more space for your Supercomputer to play?
Some things I do: I never take technology with me on my hikes/trail runs. I never have the news on in the car. (Or music.) I don’t read digital news. (Except when I do. lol) Etc. Etc.
My practices will be different than yours, but let’s give our Supercomputers a chance to Optimize us today, shall we?