Every once in a while stretching your metaphorical legs out on Facebook and LinkedIn by sharing your views (in a wordier fashion than the 140-character limit) launches you in unexpected, but unbelievably rewarding directions.
My article on ‘The Art & Science of Doing Nothing’ serves as one example. Frank Boon, an expert on finding your passion, came across that article and one enthusiastic email and a coffee later — it was decided: I would postpone my long awaited vacation to luscious Latin America and would instead roll up my sleeves and dive even deeper into work to develop a workshop on the subject.
Frank, you see, also happens to be a member of the PDTalks team — a brilliant group of people who volunteer their time to create equal opportunities for personal development for all. And when they forgo most of their free time and weekends for such a cause, how could I hesitate to forgo one holiday?
The article was published on September 19, and exactly a month later I was taking 70 personal development aficionados on an intensive and educational journey into the realms of their unconscious intelligence. Solidly grounded in neuroscience, at the core of this immersion are innovation and creativity. In essence, the experience teaches you how you can deliberately create more breakthroughs in your life.
The neural pathways we activate during this workshop, by the way, are also responsible for creating more meaning in life. And that is my raison d’être — the reason why I do everything that I do — from writing books, to consulting multinationals:
I have a dream…
A dream … which is a lot more than just some folly ideology. My workshop took place exactly a fortnight ago, but the ripples have already started to flow in wavelets. In two weeks I will give a corporate training on the subject. And this morning I awoke to an email from a former colleague at the ING Bank who was chuffed as chips to read a testimony in Frank’s newsletter. Here is a brief translation from Dutch (with Frank’s permission):
“….last Sunday, we invited Ina Catrinescu. She spoke about ‘The Art & Science of Doing Nothing’. And this subject really intrigues me!
Why? Because I have great difficulty with doing nothing.
Doing nothing stands for me for time that is lost. I think life is too short to ‘do nothing’. I want to add value. To grow. And growing means doing things.
At least, that’s what I thought until last Sunday …
Last Sunday, however, Ina showed me that the biggest ‘Aha moments’ do not come from pressure. These arise from doing nothing.
Newton, Steve Jobs, Einstein, they all did their findings during moments of doing nothing.
The best evidence are MRI scans of brain activity during ‘being active’ and ‘doing nothing’. The brain is a lot more active during ‘doing nothing’ than during being busy. All sorts of links are suddenly created.
And so I decided to experiment with this last Tuesday night.
I hesitated between watching a series and sitting still. This time I chose the latter. I switched everything off. Sat on the couch. And closed my eyes …
When I opened them, it was 45 minutes later (!). And I had received so many insights! Holy cow :)
I’ve been converted! There is no such a thing as ‘Doing nothing’. If you sit still, with your eyes closed, something truly valuable takes place.
Perhaps a lot more valuable than I can ever create behind my computer screen.
So let this be an invitation to you. Once you finished eating tonight, and everyone in your household is asleep, sit still and close your eyes. Enjoy the creative process that then comes into effect, because, as Ina put it so nicely:
Intrigued? You’re welcome to join our Facebook community where we jointly stretch our legs out on all of these subjects.