今日推荐英文原文：《How Doing Nothing Can Make Us More Creative》
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今日推荐英文原文：《How Doing Nothing Can Make Us More Creative》作者：Mythili the dreamer
How Doing Nothing Can Make Us More Creative
Counterintuitively, some of our best ideas come when we’re not trying to solve anything
(Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash)Being creative and doing nothing. Sounds like poles apart, don’t they?
But that was exactly the lesson on creativity that he taught me a few years back. I met him at a tech conference. We exchanged pleasantries and then our business cards.
“Chief Happiness Officer? Interesting title. So what do you do exactly?”, I asked.
He smiled and said, “My job is to just create a congenial atmosphere of compassion, empathy, and respect where employees feel valued and excited about their work. And one of the ways I do it is by teaching them the art of doing nothing.”
Intrigued, I waited for him to explain.
Yes, doing nothing is often associated with laziness, lethargy, or even procrastination. Unfortunately, this is the most misunderstood interpretation possible of this wonderful concept. The art of nothingness is like taking a leaf out of the Italian way of life: la dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing). The very idea here is that doing nothing is an activity in itself.
And here are some advantages of indulging in nothingness.
You Become More CreativeIn 1881, the famous inventor Nikola Tesla had fallen seriously ill on a trip to Budapest. There, a college friend, Anthony Szigeti, took him on walks to help him recover.
As they were watching the sunset on one of these walks, Tesla suddenly had an insight about rotating magnetic fields — which would, in turn, lead to the development of modern day’s alternating current electrical mechanism.
Similarly, Friedrich August Kekulé, one of the most-renowned organic chemists in 19th-century Europe, discovered the ring-shaped structure of the organic chemical compound benzene while daydreaming about the famous circular symbol of a snake eating its own tail.
And Albert Einstein famously turned to music — Mozart’s, in particular — when he was grappling with complex problems and needed inspiration.
So, what is the common factor in all these inventions?
The inventions were not made by forced application of mind. All of these inventions are a result of randomness, of making the mind wander. In other words, we become more creative when our mind is idle, daydreaming, or unfocused.
And new studies have also proved that indulging in even hours of nothingness is a smarter way to live and utilize the brain to its full potential. This is the reason that companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook have made disconnected time or nothingness a key aspect of their workplaces.
You Eliminate FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)In today’s age of 24/7 connectedness, even if we think we are giving our mind a rest, in reality, our fingers are constantly typing on smartphones and laptops.
We are bound by an electronic leash and even a few seconds of disconnectivity gives us jitters, thinking about what important things we might be missing. Experts worldwide have agreed to the fact that this “virtual busyness” is one of the main reasons for the growing cases of mental health issues spreading alarmingly within younger people.
And recent studies have shown that, even when we mindlessly scroll through Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, our brains get a dopamine hit and we get high, thus consuming our natural thinking energies. Practicing nothingness not only eliminates our FOMO but also helps us to take control of our lives and utilize them in more productive pursuits.
You Manage Stress BetterIn today’s rat-race world, stress cannot be avoided, and this is the sad truth. We are constantly living an unenvious life of tight deadlines and even tighter customer expectations.
Our every project is a never-ending saga of blood, sweat, and tears. This “round the clock” working no doubt wreaks havoc on our mental and physical health, with burnouts and blackouts becoming very common these days, especially among the techie generation.
Idleness is the solution to get out of this muck. In fact, it is the only way to give your mind the much-needed peace and recharge your batteries at the same time. Once the “toxin” of stress is released from your mind, your mind starts thinking more clearly and you start getting back to creative mode.
Frequent cycles of idleness interspersed between short spurts of work help to keep stress within manageable levels and prevent burnouts.
You Improve the Quality of Your LifeHas your life become one big never-ending routine of work and deadlines?
Are you missing out on the small joys in life and find no time for yourself, your passions, your hobbies, and most of all, your family?
Nothingness gives your brain the time to think, the time for self-reflection, in which you can take back control of your life and do all those things that matter the most to you. It helps you to establish the work-life balance which has been eluding you for so long, in spite of your best efforts.
Whiling away time is actually becoming a movement as people realize the pointlessness of constantly running on a treadmill of activity. This constant busyness has depleted their vitality to such an extent that they can no longer function as normal human beings.
Nothingness gives you a chance to again resume a well-balanced life, rather than always being in the robot mode.
So, Where Do I Start Being Idle?Short answer: start with yourself first.
Next time you’re stuck in a traffic jam or waiting at the airport for a delayed flight or even waiting for a movie to start, stop playing with your phone and muttering curses under your breath. Instead, let your mind wander aimlessly to faraway places, or let it be absolutely blank.
As Keanu Reeves said:
“A blank slate is the best place to begin afresh”.