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The Success of the Resting Mind

I noticed recently, that ambitious people don’t understand the value in rest.

They keep going, multitasking, putting more on their plate every day, and reveling in being able to tell others how incredibly busy their lives are. It seems to be a point of value or worth to remain in a constant state of busyness.

Yet, they say that they wished they had more time, but they choose (and it is a choice), to stay in the chaos.

Perhaps they think they’ll lose their competitive edge or advantage. That if they give up, someone else will take the opportunity they might be missing out on.

So many of them feel that they have a limited window of time. Still others feel that they must keep on moving in order to make any progress.

Then there is a small, yet unique group of individuals who knows the value and power of a resting mind.

They know that great things come from the stillness and quiet. They actually look for and find opportunity in the resting spaces; those sweet areas in music where no sound is as impactful as sound.

In athletic terms it’s referred to as the time the muscle rests. Where the muscle has time to grow and flourish.

In creative terms it is the incubation or spark that ignites a great idea.

In innovation it's the unexpected inspiration that comes from an unlikely source while shifting their focus away from a project.

And in human development it’s when babies sleep that they grow and develop.

However, somewhere along the way, entrepreneurs are taught to keep on going no matter what. They think the real value is in continuously pushing until they reach the desired result. They think if they stop for even a moment all will be lost and their advantage missed.

Yet artistic people, painters, sculptors, writers, philosophers, and even scientists, all know the value in resting, waiting, contemplating, or completely removing themselves from the thinking mind.

It is within these times that the creative spark appears, because it can come from the most unlikely of places, if they are, of course, open to receiving it.

And to be open, they must be willing to STOP.

So how does one learn to trust and just stop and let the creative juices do their thing?

What is it in a person’s mental framework or conditioning that will not allow them to rest?

In order to retrain Seabiscuit to become a phenomenal racing horse they had to first get rid of some old habits and behaviors.

Once this was accomplished he became an unbeatable force.

So how do you teach humans the same practice?

Unfortunately, many of them only see the light much later in life when it’s almost too late to affect great change.

But it’s never too late to change if one is willing.

And in order for change to take place several things must occur:

  • They must change their desire to CONTROL the outcome

  • They must be willing to be slightly uncomfortable in the "not doing" for a while

  • They must learn that it’s safe and valuable to take no action

  • They must learn to be present and connected, and open to new opportunity from unexpected sources

  • They must escape the micro and look at the macro. In other words, instead of trying to see from within a crowd, go up to the balcony where the view (perspective) is endless

  • They must find ways to get out of their own way, mind

They must do things that on the surface, seems counterproductive, i.e. going to the movies in the middle of the afternoon, taking a relaxing coffee break to chat with a friend, reading something unrelated to your work, perusing the bookstore, taking a hike, or strolling along the beach. Or doing something completely unfamiliar to you; stretching your comfort zone.

Often, it’s in these unique moments that the creative spark happens, and we actually gain more momentum in our progress and our pursuits.

When do we find our missing keys or lost glasses? When we stop looking.

It seems counterintuitive to tell someone striving to create a successful business or new venture to do absolutely nothing. And if all you did was nothing, that would be likened to what “The Secret” movie calls “manifesting.”

In other words, doing nothing but visualizing and hoping for great results.

Resting the mind has the opposite effect. It’s similar to when we sleep at night and our subconscious works things out.

Everyone has experienced the value of this. Resting the mind is no different, it just takes practice and discipline.

But once you can master this, great things can occur.

The mind is like a shark, it never sleeps. However, it does have calm periods. And in these calm moments the most unlikely of things can occur: The spark.

So resting the mind actually encourages innovation, development, growth, creativity, which all promote passion, energy, drive, focus, and forward momentum, thus, ultimately resulting in real progress.

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