To celebrate the 4th of July, I have one simple idea on how you can identify your next breakthrough idea. Take a break!
While a zealous mindset for innovation is a boon to idea discovery, sometimes our brain needs to take a break. Many psychologists have shown that humans learn during sleep as our memories are optimized and reorganized during REM and NREM sleep stages. Similarly, the ‘Aha!’ moment is often going to pop-up when you’re distracted and thinking about something else. The brain surge of energy that occurs during ‘Aha’ moments is far different than what your brain is doing in regular problem solving. Researchers have shown that there is even a ‘gating’ mechanism that allows weak solution-oriented ideas to break through the cerebral cortex into consciousness.
The moral of the story? Go out and enjoy the 4th – head to the beach, spend time grilling, and let the ideas flow.