Where are you when you come up with your best ideas? Who is with you? What’s around you? What are you doing?
I’m not asking the question about when you do your best work—but rather when and where are you when you come up with your best IDEAS that are clear and actionable? The answer to this question will allow you to tune into your own creative and innovative rhythms. Consider for a moment:
- Is it a time of day?
- Is it when you’re doing a certain activity?
- Is it when you’re with someone in particular?
- Is it when you play a special song that inspires you?
Many people answer this question with a simple answer: the shower. Apparently there’s something about letting go of the rest of the world and tuning into our own internal voice when we’re in the shower.
Here’s mine and I know it’s pretty weird. It’s during Saturday 8 am spin class somewhere between the third and fifth song. Bam! Best actionable ideas of the week!
The first few times this happened, I wanted to jump off my bike and take some notes; but I’m a front row spinner and felt that would be disruptive to the class. The way I remember my ideas is silly but it works for me. I remember with keywords that are associated with the song that was playing at the time. For example, Shut Up and Dance + performance system idea or that Chainsmoker song + IT Team coaching. You get the idea!
Now that I have realized this is a repeatable pattern, I wait for the idea to present itself... I settle into spinning and actually don’t think at all. About anything. That’s when the idea presents itself usually during the fourth spin song. And I’m still surprised when it happens.
There must be something magical for my brain about the combination of great music, clear and focused head, wonderful energy, and ideas waiting to pop and come alive. Oh, and the spin teacher, Wendy, is amazing, and she is absolutely part of the magic!
We all have different ways of thinking, being, living, and learning. When we can zero in on our own magical patterns and become more self-aware, we have a giant opportunity to give to the people and environments around us. Great ideas have the potential to make our own lives better in some way and also have the potential to make someone else’s life better.
I encourage you to pay attention and take notice of your own magical patterns of genius. Your own great ideas may be waiting to present themselves—to solve a business problem, a family issue, a community concern, or a personal blocker.
Where are you and what are you doing when you come up with your best actionable ideas? You just might be surprised like I was that it’s not in the office and not during a meeting.
What is your very own “fourth spin song?”
Cindy helps people and companies tackle their biggest business problems by developing managers into great coaches that win. As a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, she works with leaders and their companies to build the culture they want, keep their awesome talent, and become nimble. She has loved her work in HR and wellness for over 30 years. In her free time, Cindy can be found spinning, at yoga class, golfing with her husband, visiting their two daughters, or catching up with friends and family.