Updated: Mar 17, 2020
Have you ever experienced the after a good night sleep syndrome? I am referring to those moments when everything seemed to converge into a complete blockage yesterday, however after a good night sleep you got a different perspective and "suddenly the great/unique idea" pops-up into your mind almost out-of-the-blue removing the perceived blockage rather fast. This scenario might (should?) also happen after a relaxing vacation in which you completely disconnected from the matter at hand...
After a number of times this has happened to me I decided to reflect over what is going on and if I have the ability to "control" those occurrences in order to get that clear head more often. It took me a fair number of testing hours and some specialty reading to understand the uncomfortable truth: I cannot directly control the appearance of these instances fostered by great ideas.
That was a disappointment! I mean, how exactly am I supposed to accept that I cannot generate those states of mind in which there are no blockages and everything seems easier?
There is no simple answer to that. My take on this is that if the brain fails to resolve an equation using the known paths, then it will continue to use this failing paths if we fixate on getting that equation resolved fast. It becomes an endless loop that we simply cannot break since we really need to fix that unresolvable equation. The apparent paradox seems to be: the more we focus on resolving the equation, the more the equation appears as unresolvable.
If we are in agreement until now then we have the following statements:
1. At times we get an "unexpected idea" on how to resolve a particular situation after a good night sleep or a solid vacation;
2. In parallel, we tend not to be able to resolve the same particular situation if we keep fixating on its solution...
This particular scenario does not occur daily or weekly. There might even not be any recurrence to it at all; however, when the blockage appear it becomes extremely nasty and confusing (at least for me).
So, if we cannot control those particular states then what is there to be done? Well, since fixating on the solution does not yield the expected result, we can only attempt to incorporate the effect of a good night sleep (or solid vacation) into the daily activity. And, since we are not sleeping and the vacation recently ended, the logical next question would be: how?
Without attempting to consider this a Holy Graal, I can recommend two tricks that can be easily incorporated into the daily activity: carefully balancing your breaks from your thought process (work or personal) and choosing wisely your conversation companions during these breaks. What I achieved by embracing these two paradigms was to remove myself from the endless loop and get a different perspective by incorporating a diverse view from a peer or a friend.
Is this a recipe for success? No. Since we are all so different, if we perform the same action we will obtain different results. But it can increase our chances to succeed (even 1% better changes are good) since a different set of eyes can come up with a different view, one that we did not consider up until now. If such exchange happens during a break from work (or whatever you were doing), the result might be surprisingly relevant.
I am inviting you to try it out and share the outcome. Pause for a couple of minutes; take a break and have a conversation with someone dear. What do you get? I am happy to learn from you.