It's no secret that I'm a fan of the television talk show. Letterman, Leno, Denton, Lipton, Parkinson and now Jimmy Fallon. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was on Fallon this week talking about his new television series called Wake Up Call. He takes people who are doing it tough and essentially gives them a wake up call and a leg up.
During the interview it played a clip from the show. It showed Dwayne talking with a young boy who was on the wrong side of the rails. He said, “And all success does, it starts with one good decision and time.” It’s a great quote. It’s also something that we could all do right now. Just pick a part of your world that you want greater success in and make a good decision right now. Make a decision to do something right now to move you to a place where that part of your world is better. Make a good decision each day, give it time and success will be yours.
Einstein is seen as one of our great creators. Quite often he would stay with a question for years in order to find a new solution. He once said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”This was one of his greatest strengths.
Too often in today’s fast paced, disjointed, fragmented world, we jump from problem to problem without giving each or any problem it’s due respect in terms of time and thought. When in conferences and I pose a question or challenge to the audience, you can see the eyes of some participants glass over, as they impatiently wait for others to ponder the answers, while they sit ready to move on to the next thing.
You see today we simply don’t spend time with a problem. If we can’t solve it immediately then we get frustrated and we find ourselves distracted by something that appears easier. Creativity needs time. Problems need time. We need to allocate sufficient time and truly ponder something. Strategies aren’t written in a day, an afternoon or a weekend. Strategies take weeks, months or even years to get right. If Einstein believed that he stayed with problems longer than others and it was his greatest asset, then it’s definitely worth considering as it’s a resource that we all possess.
Successful creatives have rituals, time set aside where they can sit, ponder and imagine. A number of successful creatives I’ve spoken to recently have a ritual around a cup of tea first thing in the morning. On rising out of bed, the first thing they do is put the kettle on and sit with a cup of tea. In fact one successful entrepreneur said he has 3 cups of tea and during that time, he plans his day, reads a magazine or a book and has time to sit, collect his thoughts and visualise the day ahead.
As a ritual this is quite powerful. I personally find a cup of hot water with lemon is a great start to my day, followed soon after by my first coffee. Regardless of whether you do tea, hot water, a lemon drink, coffee or a green tea, what’s important is that 10 to 15 minutes in the morning where you collect yourself, visualise, plan what’s important and get focused, before rushing into the bedlam that normally surrounds our day.
I recently heard a podcast with Buddhist practitioner WuDe. He spoke about Buddhism, the process of zen and meditation and one of the practical tips he gave which I loved, was to leave a ten second gap between everything you do.
You see, in our current multi-tasked, frantic-paced, get-it-done, to-do-list life, we madly run from one task to the next. There’s no time to breathe, let alone think! This beautiful idea of pausing for ten seconds and taking 5 deep breaths between everything you do helps you to bring mindfulness to the table. It allows you to finish one project before you race into another. It allows your soul to rest and gives you a space between thoughts where you can create and innovate.
Next time you finish one project on your laptop and you’re racing for the telephone, just stop for 5 breaths before you dial the number. When you’ve made your cup of tea and you head back to your desk, sit down, stop, and take 5 breaths over 10 seconds, before you rush into your next thing. It can be applied to every area of your life and trust me, it’s very powerful. Try it.