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Wander Aimlessly: Einstein’s Secret To Creativity

Most people already think Einstein was a genius, so we’ll skip that.

But did you know that he would ditch work, play violin, go on long boat trips, get lost at sea, and get picked up in a confused state by police?

In a world of “work harder”, Einstein’s secret weapon was to “loaf aimlessly”.

“You don’t get anywhere by not ‘wasting’ time”

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To Have Shower Thoughts, You Have To Shower

Think of the moments in your life when a new idea, a spark of inspiration, or a solution to a problem came to you.

Did that breakthrough happen while you were actively and furiously seeking it?

Probably not.

Busy people just don’t have epiphanies.

Albert Einstein embraced this truth.

Today we look at him as giant and a genius, but by his own account, his most productive time was the time he spent aimlessly wandering, and without purpose.

Einstein loved sailing and he was famously terrible at it. He would “set sail, make it fast, ... loll back, [and] let boat drift".

The boat would often drift back to shore miles away, and he would wander on beaches, confused, until picked up by police.

And he hated meetings and busy work: “How conducive to thinking and working the long sea voyage is—a paradisiacal state without correspondence, visits, meetings, and other inventions of the devil!”

Make Space For “Idleness”

A common thread among the most famous discoverers, scientists, inventors, and creatives is that through play, they find inspiration.

It’s counterintuitive, but it works.

Einstein said: "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."

Here are some things you can try to jumpstart your imagination.
1. Doodle Breaks
Once a week, put an hour on your calendar to go to a cafe or quiet space, away from your work. With no phone or laptop to distract you, scribble ideas or doodles in a notepad.
2. Meditate
Try meditating to give yourself space and time from pressures and stresses of your normal life.
3. Sensory Deprivation Tanks
Try meditating to give yourself space and time from pressures and stresses of your normal life.

Now go out and wander aimlessly,
then come back and share your ideas on Daily Idea.

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