I get my best ideas in the morning. It sounds simple, even boring to say so, but I’m realizing that if I unpack it a bit, it becomes profound.
First of all, what do I mean by “best ideas”? These are thoughts that seem to come through me, like a little download from the powers that be. They’re thoughts that have crystallized or come through during sleep, so they have a different quality to them – they feel calmer, deeper, and truer.
Sometimes they’re about actions that I need to take, other times they’re fully-formed phrases that pop into my head, and often they’re ideas I feel like I need to suggest to other people. They might come to me quietly, but I’m getting better at capturing and remembering them, because they’re usually incredibly helpful. My morning ideas have led to big perspective shifts for me and have been the vehicle for concepts that have helped others.
And what do I mean by “the morning”? Initially I thought that these ideas were coming to me in meditation, which is certainly true some of the time. I meditate every morning, when my brain is still very much in this sleepy-time state, so it’s natural that there would be some crossover. But I’m noticing that they also come as soon as I wake up, when I’m brushing my teeth, while I’m thinking about what to write for my daily reflection, etc. My mornings are very quiet, and ideas come to me throughout that quiet space, from the moment I wake up all the way through to starting my day. As long as my brain is quiet and at peace, the ideas flow in.
In fact, I think the longer I can go with a quiet mind in the morning, the more and better ideas I receive. I have slept with my phone on Airplane mode for the past 3+ years, meaning that I always wake up without a single notification and don’t let things in until I’m done all my routines and feel ready. I think that piece of my process is absolutely crucial. If I woke up to a busy screen, I’d very quickly have a busy mind that would crowd out all the good ideas.
These are good and important things to know. Not only are these ideas sometimes meaningful, they’re also usually incredible effective and practical. Without having to try to effort my way to figuring things out, I can allow my quiet mind to provide me with the answers. Meaning that protecting this sleepy time state of mind should be a huge priority. The more I can protect and cultivate this time, the more effective I’ll be.