by Sunil Bali, 07-12-14

Award winning journalist and author Will Self said, "Whenever I produce my best work its always because I’ve spent time being idle. Something always emerges after nothing."

The human body has several homeostatic systems which ensure that it automatically self corrects at every opportunity:

- if we’re too hot we sweat,

- if we’re too cold we shiver,

- if we drink too much fluid our kidneys excrete it,

- if we eat too much sugar we produce more insulin.

Research by Professor William Duggan shows that the human mind has the same self-correcting mechanism.

When we relax, de-clutter our mind and let it wander, flashes of insight, sparks of creativity and clarity of thought emerge. That’s why we get our best ideas and inspiration when we’re out for a walk, in the shower or driving and not working flat out at two hundred miles an hour in the office.

Duggan argues that our mind will reveal what we’re born to do and drive us to do it, if we just relax and let it. His answer to the Zen koan, "Does grass try and grow?" is "No, it doesn’t try, it just does what it is."

Researchers at Harvard have shown that given time and space, the human brain will provide clarity and solutions for problems that leave everyday rationality flummoxed.

The researchers found that constant mental traffic prevents us from seeing clearly, listening deeply, and tapping in to our intuition. The steady flow of thoughts acts a barrier between our thoughts and feelings, and a barrier between our head and heart.

The research is a welcome antidote to our work obsessed-culture that puts so many obstacles between our dreams and ourselves.

When I try really hard to write something worth reading, it’s like stabbing jelly: inspiration eludes me and I can’t quite pin my ideas down.

When I get off the hamster wheel however, and synch my heart with my head, the mental fog disappears and ideas and words suddenly emerge from the ether.

In fact, when I stop struggling, I float.


A guy was in a cave, looking for treasure. He found an old lamp, rubbed it, and a genie came out.

The genie said, “I will grant you three wishes, but your ex-wife will get double."

The man agreed, and said, “I wish I had a mansion."

The genie granted it, and his ex-wife got two mansions.

Then the man said, “I would like a million dollars." The genie again granted it and his ex-wife got two million dollars.

The man scratched his head, pondered for a while on his final wish and then said, “Scare me half to death."


Have a great week.