Some of my best ideas come while taking a shower for some reason. Sometimes a solution would pop up for a problem I’ve been trying to solve for days. Sometimes a brand new idea would pop up out of nowhere.
The shower, however, is not the only place this happens to me. Sometimes it would happen while Iâ€™m exercising. Some of my best ideas, however, came to me while mowing the lawn (when I used to have a house with a lawn).
What all these activities have in common is that they are all modern day versions of a Zen garden. They are all semi-habitual or routine activities that require a good level of mindfulness concentration. I don’t know about you, but I’m actually pretty mindful when I’m taking a shower. I don’t just splash water on myself and call it a day.
Zen gardens help Buddhist monks with their concentration. Another way to phrase this is that it helps them be mindful of the moment rather than anything other than the moment.
Sometimes, when we think about a problem for too long, our own mind will block the opportunity for new solutions. We get stuck in looking at the problem in only one way, and the solution never comes about.
So when your work on your Zen gardens (taking a shower, mowing the lawn, or exercising) your mind let’s go of the old problem, including how you were originally approaching it. Your mind, then, becomes more flexible, and open. And viola, a solution pops up out of nowhere.
So the next time you’re working on a tough problem. . . take a shower.