How to let your brain find a great idea (without breaking a sweat)

You need more idle time

Hi,

Alberto here, I’m taking over from Samuele, whose working on a new webinar for our Italian business.

This week I started toying with Twitter. I know, I know, it’s nothing new. But I’m realizing it can be very different from the other major social networks (when you write in English).

Twitter can be a huge public square were you can debate with bright minds on important topics.

You can find people sharing mini-essays on any subject, from business to personal development, from society to economics. The greatest thing is that the discussion is democratic. If your posts are thoughtful and well written, even well-known thought leaders will engage with you.

It’s a great way to learn and refine your thinking.

Give it a try. Look for the topics you always think about, follow the people with the most interesting tweets and start engaging with them.

(On Twitter, you can find me here)

Let’s start!

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How to let your brain find a great idea

Ideas are the currency of our society. We all need the right ideas to improve our results in life and career.

But the reality is you rarely can force them. You know the trite image of the eureka moment: the best ideas come only in the shower. Well, in a certain sense, it's true.

An unfocused brain is more creative. When you let your mind wander, it creates new connections.

So, to foster creativity, intentionally add idle moments in your life.

The key is to achieve a state of alert idleness, not sleepy boredom.

So, don't sit at your desk looking at the wall. Engage in something habitual and effortless. Something that doesn't require brainpower but keeps you active.

For example: walking, driving, showering, listening to music, driving, practicing a hands-on hobby. Even playing mindless video games.

You can naturally find such moments in your dailiy life. Don't squander them reaching for your phone to make a call, play a podcast or scroll social media.

Read the full content here

Life IS the obstacles

When we hit an obstacle in our life, we feel like it is blocking our path. We can not live well until it's removed.

This kind of thinking deprives us of the best opportunities to improve.

Oh, life is a series of obstacles. It’s not a paved path.

This interview provides a great metaphor. You feel a sense of entitlement for the lifestyle you achieved. When something goes wrong it's like a boot in the face.

The instinct is to fight it, blame it for your misfortunes, complain about it. But if you keep pushing it will keep pushing back (like the metaphorical boot).

Instead, you have to pivot, to find your way around it. Ask yourself:

  • what can I do to pull myself out of this?

  • What can I do to be ok with it?

This way you learn how to solve the problem or to cope with it. On your way to happiness.

Read the full content here

Robustness vs efficiency

Every day we deal with complex systems, in our jobs, our own business, relationships...

So, we often have to decide between efficiency and robustness:

  • doing more with lower quality

  • doing less at the highest quality possible.

We have to act within an interval between these two extremes.

Robustness always hurts: it's expensive. For example, a backup generator for your home stays idle for months. Every day you think about all that wasted money (and wasted space in the basement). Then, one day, a 24-hour blackout ruins the day of the entire neighborhood. Except for you!

On the other hand, efficiency at the expense of quality makes us feel guilty. It seems as if we are not doing our best.

In most projects, we aim for robustness too soon. We should instead aim for efficiency and follow the 70% rule: Taking a project from 70% to 100% costs far more than taking it from 0% to 70%.

So, reach 70% of the perfect result you envisioned, then stop.

The only exception is when possible mistakes are expensive to fix or can lead to complete failure. Only in those cases, prioritize robustness.

Read the full content here


Best book of the week

Tiny Habits, by BJ Fogg

You are what you do every day. Behavior change helps you build good habits and stop bad ones. It’s a sure way to improve yourself.

I read many books and articles in this field. Tiny Habits is my favorite one. It describes a method to change behaviors with a high probability of success. And it describes clearly. You won’t need a coaching program or a 7-day retreat to be able to implement it after reading the book.

And you? Which book did you enjoy recently? Let us know. We are always on the lookout for exciting new titles.


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Thank you for reading this newsletter.

Now, I’m curious about you. What decisions are challenging you at the moment? What are the mental strategies that you find more helpful?

Write me back!

And don’t forget to share We Who Think with your smartest friends. Thank you!

Until next week, 
Alberto

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