The Power of Doing Nothing (UPDATED)

Want to become more creative? Try doing nothing for a while. Stephen Shapiro explains:

Yesterday it was a beautiful, sunny day here in Boston, so I decided to walk the ocean near where I live. I spent most of my time walking up and down the beach, listening to my iPod, and eating a delicious lobster roll. As I started to walk back home, I decided to walk into the water and just stand there. I did nothing for about 20 minutes. The picture above is what I looked at (you can click on it for a larger version). I just stood there. My mind wandered. At first I wondered what others were thinking of my “statue-like” position. Then my mind drifted towards work…in particular the marketing efforts for my new book, Personality Poker. I let my mind meander, but I stayed focus on the book. After about 5 minutes, a flood of ideas started to come through. By the end of the 20 minutes, I had more ideas than I had in the previous few weeks.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: In a similar vein, Andy Nulman has some insights about being alone:

These days, given the proliferation of social networking and easy, incessant electronic access and communication, I find that people are afraid of being alone.

Now there’s a big difference between being “alone” and being “lonely,” but the desperate dreariness of suffering the latter has overshadowed the importance and benefit of enjoying the former.

I gotta admit that I love being alone, especially on the road.  Being alone gives me a chance to reflect, to think, and to be open to my surroundings and environment…which usually leads to solutions to problems and–even better!–brand honking new ideas.

Again: Read the whole thing.

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