I don’t know about you, but I really love those “Eureka!” moments. I love the rush that I get when I realize I have just brilliantly solved a problem, or come up with something very creative, or found the answer to a question that I’ve been noodling.
It’s these moments of insight that I’ve always wanted to understand and now I do…at least a little bit better.
Insight is a very different process from analytical thought. Analytical thought happens when we work logically through a sequence or a pattern. Insight is not a logical progression to reach a solution, but really a sudden and instant knowing about the answer we’re searching for. It is a form of creative thought and it’s about taking two separate things and making a new connection. It’s a solution that recombines the knowledge in our brain a whole new way.
Through my learnings in the Neuroscience of Leadership, I am finding out that insight is massively important and very much underrated. This is changing. Organizations are finding the value of innovation and creativity and even have Chief Innovation Officers or Chief Creative Officers as part of their executive teams.
Many companies, such as Google, create a working environment that supports and encourages creativity everywhere you look.
I have come to find out we can help insight along.
Here are a few tips how:
Get quiet. Insight happens when we are quiet. That’s why we get some great ideas when we’re exercising or on a solo walk.
It makes our brains more receptive to unique ideas. That’s why insights come to us a lot in showers. Relaxation is essential.
Turn inward. Close your eyes. Meditate for a while and just watch your thoughts float by and say ‘How interesting.’ Free your brain from the chatter.
Concentrate, yes. But concentrate on letting your mind just wander.
Get in a positive frame of mind.
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...' - Isaac Asimov