Issue #10 - A Brainhack for Triggering Greater Insight & Ideas
Welcome to the latest issue of The Qi of Self-Sovereignty. The newsletter exploring what it means to be free in an increasingly not-so-free world.
Whether you're looking to locate your authentic self or investigate sovereignty, you're in the right place! Each week, with just a few minutes of reading, I aim to expand your awareness through a quote and a piece of content that made me go hmm...
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“The greatest ideas, the most profound thoughts, and the most beautiful poetry are born from the womb of silence.” - William Arthur Ward
Do you ever find yourself drifting off to sleep with a problem or situation you'd like answers to, only to awake with the solution front and center in your mind?
In this post, I want to explore what it is that leads us to these profound moments of realization and insight.
A little while back, I shared some thoughts about the process behind idea generation.
*You can check out that post here:
After writing that newsletter post, I had someone a deeply admire for their spiritual insights reach out and ask if I wanted to join them on their podcast and discuss idea generation.
Insightful content which made me go, hmm...
That someone who invited me on their podcast was a guy named Sama. The host of "Bitcoin Consciousness." A podcast which delves into the intersection between consciousness, spirituality and Bitcoin.
It is one of those podcasts where every episode triggers curiosity, and I walk away deep in thought.
That said, I never intended to share my own content in this newsletter, but not only was it one of the most insightful talks I have had, but it also got me thinking about idea generation.
*You can find the conversation here:
I, therefore, wanted to expand on an analogy I referenced in this talk and in my previous newsletter whereby you can liken idea generation to driving a car:
If we don't fill up our car, we'll run out of gas.
However, we don't own a car to sit at the gas station filling up all day.
We have to find a balance between filling up and exploring.
If we only ever consume content, we're never giving ourselves time to distill this information into ideas and insights.
On the flip side, if we only ever explore, we'll quickly run out of fuel and, therefore, ideas.
Let's expand on this analogy a little further.
I believe that there are two critical factors at play which greatly enhance the process of insight and idea creation. Those are our fuel source and how we explore.
As I am sure you know, the cleaner our fuel source, the more efficient our car will run and the better mileage we will get.
The same can be said for idea creation.
The higher the quality of the content we consume, the more productive our idea creation becomes.
You may then be wondering, "what makes high-quality content?"
First, make sure you resonate with whatever you consume. That doesn't mean you must agree with the opinions or information expressed. It just means you're inspired by what's in front of you. If you're not motivated to consume, your mind will be closed off and limited in its capacity to absorb and learn.
And second, my personal rule of thumb is that the longer something takes to create, the greater quality and value it'll provide.
With this in mind, I like to think that all content fits into one of three buckets.
- High-Quality Bucket: This category includes books, full-feature documentaries, etc. Why? Directing a documentary or writing a book is an incredibly time-intensive endeavour. If what the creator offers provides no value, they would have found this out long ago, and their book/documentary wouldn't exist. Therefore, much thought usually goes into the information leading up to the creation of this content. We can therefore expect more thought-out higher-quality content.
- Mid-Quality Bucket: This bucket includes long-form blogs, mid-length videos, detailed articles etc. These require a moderate amount of time and thought to create and, therefore, can still offer significant value. However, they're usually less in-depth than the first bucket.
- Low-Quality Bucket: This includes attention-grabbing news, social media posts, bite-sized stories etc. This is the quickest type of content to create, which means the creator is usually less invested than in the above buckets. As a result, the content's quality and value tend to drop significantly.
Just like how most of us are incredibly conscious of the food we fuel our bodies with, we should put the same amount of thought into the content we consume if we want to stoke the fire of idea creation.
If we only consume short bite-sized news reports, we shouldn't expect an abundance of insight and unique ideas.
That said, it is not enough to simply fill up with high-quality fuel and expect ideas to emerge.
We need to give ourselves time to explore.
How We Explore
Once we fill up and start driving if we take the motorway from one central city to another, should we expect to see new sights? No!
We're simply driving along the well-travelled route.
On the other hand, if we take the back road through the country, exploring the unique little villages, we'll most likely experience much more profound sites.
I am going to refer to these two types of exploration as active and passive thinking.
Our primary method of thought, active thinking, involves jumping from one central thought to another, consciously focusing on how these thoughts fit in with what we know.
This form of thinking is limited in its ability to generate insight as our thought process is centralized around a specific piece of information we keep referring back to.
What's more, we're limited in our insight as we can also only reference information that is available to our conscious mind.
On the other hand, passive thinking happens when we step back from active thought, giving our mind time to disconnect and the subconscious permission to take the reins.
To do so involves letting go, often achieved through meditation, sleep, exercise etc.
In these moments, our subconscious can tap into the deeply interconnected web of our subconscious experience and knowledge, unearthing information unavailable to our conscious mind.
What makes passive thought so powerful?
Our unconscious and subconscious can process 11 million bits of information every second, while our conscious mind maxes out at around 40 to 50 bits per second.
This is a momentous difference in processing power!
I have distinctly noticed that most of my profound thoughts have arisen in these moments of passive thinking, with the most insightful moments being in the early morning as I wake or while out walking the dog in nature—moments where I am not actively engaged in thought.
But as highlighted above, we can only harness the power of passive thought when we give ourselves permission to let go.
If we're continuously pumping our eyes and ears full of stimuli, we're never giving our subconscious time to do its thing.
Hopefully, this post has highlighted not only the significance of quality fuel sources but also the importance of giving our minds time to reflect, contemplate and disconnect.
When we dive into passive thought, we connect to a much larger web of wisdom. As a result, emerging ideas are usually far superior to those of the limited active thought, where our idea generation revolves around a singular point of contemplation.
With all this in mind, the next time you're looking for insight or having trouble with idea generation, why not disconnect?
And if you want to take a more active role in your passive thought before going to bed, out for a walk, or stepping into a moment of meditation:
- Intention Set: State what you intend to accomplish in this moment of relaxation.
- Record: Write down what it is that is on your mind. This allows your conscious mind to let go, as it knows it won't forget this information.
- Disconnect: Reduce external and internal stimuli and give your subconscious permission to take the lead.
Thanks for taking the time to read this issue of The Qi of Self-Sovereignty. I hope you found it insightful.
I always welcome feedback and thoughts. So, do not hesitate to respond to the newsletter email, comment on the article or reach out via Twitter.
The future is bright!