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It Worked!

December 7, 2011

Last time, I talked about how I do my best thinking when I quit thinking. Last weekend, my husband Homer and I were at dinner with our friends Dennis and Jane. Dennis follows my blog. As we were walking into the restaurant he said, “Hey, I liked that last blog – the one about stopping thinking to think better.”

Fast forward to dinner. Homer and Dennis are in a band together (Homer and the Plainsmen). Jane and I are groupies (NOT roadies – there are limits). So they are likely at any given point to be discussing music. At one point during dinner, Dennis was trying to recall the name of a song and who originally did the song. He couldn’t grasp the name no matter how hard he tried. I looked at him and inquired, “What is your favorite Mexican food restaurant?” (that’s the advice I gave in that blog about helping a friend when they get stuck – take their mind elsewhere and watch the answer they are grasping for appear).

Dennis knew what I was doing because he had read the blog. He looked at me and laughed, then went there. I don’t know if he actually told me the name of the restaurant, but he did let go of the quest for THE NAME.

Not one minute later he said, “My Maria by B.W. Stevenson!” We had high fives all around.

It works. Give it a try – stop thinking to do your best thinking.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Kris Knight permalink
    December 7, 2011 10:50 am

    I was JUST thinking I would post a comment supporting your “quit thinking” claims, as I ssaw your post “It worked!” come in.

    I was at a day-long session yesterday (or a “long-day” session, as I flew to DC at 6:00 AM, returned to Boston at 9:00 PM), featuring Commissioner Brill, and other members of the Federal Trade Commission, industry and privacy profession, who spoke on consumer protection in the online environment, the recent Facebook enforcement action, and other related (Privacy) topics. Throughout all the sessions, I furiously took notes, feeling as if there would be an epiphany somewhere in my scribblings that I would be able to turn into a a “brave new” approach for my Privacy Compliance efforts, at work.

    I read, re-read, and painfully churned over my notes later that evening at the airport (while shoveling in the ~fabulous~ airport cuisine), in the hopes that I could quickly construct something useful for a meeting I had with executive management, today. Nothing. Brain-dead. Zilch. Nothing made sense at the time, though while others at the earlier sessions were opining and pedaling their intellectual wares, I was sure I’d captured something that would help me too!

    I boarded the plane, frustrated, and exhausted. Closed my eyes, and just after the flight attendants were done with their announcements, nodded off for what seemed like an hour. I woke with a start (only 5 min after takeoff). Grabbed a pen, my notebook, and scribbled for the rest of the flight: pictures, words, flow-charts–all the makings of a plan. I read it again today, this morning, preparing for my meetings, and it STILL made sense! It worked! I gave up to rest, stopped thinking, and the ideas flowed into my mind (and sleep) as if by magic. And, while perhaps not a traditional, or common approach across the industry, I have the beginnings of a plan to make a bigger difference, with fewer resources, in a way that hopefully will make people feel good about being part of a (usually perceived as dry and boring) compliance program.

    So, it DOES work! Thank you, Sara! Ingenious!

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