Inhale. Exhale. It is dark outside and the sun has set long time ago. It feels like ages since I saw the light for a last time. It is even darker in my room since my lights burned out a week ago. I have three candles that glimmer in the darkness and the light coming out of my computer screen. It brightens me but it does not enlighten me. I separate my fingers from the keyboard, pick my hands up, rotate them 180 degrees, look at them and then put them on my eyes. It is even darker and I like it. Oh, how much I do value it. Inhale. Exhale. The music in the background is farther and further than a moment ago, it echoes in my ears. Inhale. Exhale. The pitch black in front of my eyes starts twisting, it forms a black hole which pulls me towards itself. It is the last quarter of second before I get sucked in. Inhale. Exhale. Freedom. I am in the middle of nothing, it is just me, myself and I(magination). Go!
Let’s go approximately five months back in time. It is a Saturday afternoon in the beginning of the summer. I am laying on my bed after watching several episodes in a row of That 70’s Show when I realize I haven’t had my lunch yet. I crawl out of bed, pace slowly through the infinite corridor leading to the living room and the kitchen. I open the fridge, take a pick inside and close it. I walk out of the kitchen and slide on the sofa where I spend a dozen of minutes thinking with what I could possibly pleasure my stomach. I make myself scrambled eggs with bacon. Now let’s leap an hour and a half forward. Inhale. Exhale. I am sitting under the shower - the hot water is raining down on me while I am looking at the water whirling around the siphon and then disappearing forever just like the seconds spent watching it. Skip forward another three hours. Inhale. Exhale. I am in a gloomy pub - the music echoes on the dark walls and jumps back at us. We are having dark beers and my thoughts rarely return back from the dark walls unlike the music. Close your eyes. Inhale. Exhale. We are another two hours ahead. I collapse on my bed, too tired and busy with empty thoughts to even go out of my own clothes. I lay on my back and stare into the darkness. I have goals and I am not even moving an inch closer to them day after day. I have procrastination in my blood stream. It is time for change, time to put my time back on time.
Let’s go approximately three hundred years back in time. “Aha!” it’s probably what Newton said to himself when he saw the apple falling down on the ground. He has just found the force of gravity - the force which pulls all of us towards the center of Earth. Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation is extremely important scientific discovery that changed our understanding of the universe. And how did it all happen? Sir Isaac Newton was wandering in the apple-tree gardens, unwinding his thoughts and opening his mind to what imagination says.
Let’s go approximately two millennia back in time. “Eureka! ” shouted Archimedes running naked on the streets of Syracuse. He had just found out that the volume of displaced water in the bath is equal to the volume of his body. He was enlightened, he had an insight. How did he have this idea? Wouldn’t it be good if we had a recipe that we can follow step by step? A spoonful of apple seeds, 10ml of water and a pinch of brown sugar. What did Archimedes do? He was relaxed, his mind was free of any thoughts, he was submerged into the bathtub and his imagination. I say yes, there is a recipe. There are certain steps you can follow to get ideas. Some of the ideas might be totally ridiculous, but some of them might be ingenious. I will share my approach which I believe might work for you as well.
We are back to nowadays. Inhale. Exhale. I slowly open my eyes. It is nine o’clock in the morning and it is bright outside. I open my window and take a deep breath. Inhale. Exhale. The air is fresh - it wakes up my mind and energizes my body. I stand up, open the door and walk in the bathroom. I turn on the water in the shower and while waiting for it to heat up I stand in front of the mirror, observe my reflection and reflect on what happened in my dreams. After a minute or so I go under the running water. Inhale. Exhale. Close my eyes. My mind starts drifting after a while, it goes wild. It goes from penguins to deep space exploration and time travel. I am just sitting motionless and observing my thoughts flow over my head. Have you noticed how the walls in the bathroom get steamy and when you move your fingers across you leave marks? The walls are my canvas. I draw. I spend a big chunk of my time in the shower drawing my thoughts on the walls. After half a minute the drawings start disappearing, then I redraw the good ones and let the rest vanish from time and space. I do not ask myself “why” or “but”, I just let imagination do its thing.
The “Aha” and “Eureka” moments do not always come easily. When we have set on a quest to solve a problem, to find a solution, we might get stuck somewhere in the middle. We get frustrated that our thoughts do not move forward even though we have examined all possible ways to get to the solution. It is easy to give up when you are in this situation. But then procrastination will possess you and will not let go. Procrastination feeds on weakness - giving up makes it stronger, putting off feeds it. How do we leap over this abyss? How do we get to the ideas? My recipe:
3. Close your eyes.
Cover your eyes with your palms and stare into the darkness. Rearrange your thoughts, reopen your mind, fall in the black hole of imagination. You are in a kingdom where you are the king/queen. In this parallel universe where your word is a command. Search for your passion, find your purpose, get motivated, be enlightened. And do not open your eyes until you catch your brilliant idea by the tail.
I was there and I kid you not I am mesmerized. I got my idea - a quest to bring procrastination down to zero around the world. It is a project that I work on every day and I will not give up until it helps at least one more person other than myself. It worked for me, and I cannot wait to share it with all of you. Soon.
Now, can I ask you for a little favor?
Inhale. Exhale. Close your eyes … just do it!
How was it? What did you see? Share it with me and the world.
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