It could be a myth – but often myths are basic facts lost in the passing of time – that, having searched for many years to discover the meaning of life, the Buddha became enlightened whilst simply sitting under a tree. It may also be legend, but legend has it that Sir Isaac Newton had his most significant scientific insight, once again, whilst sitting under a tree. And although it was an apple that reputedly dropped for Newton, you have to find your own tree to allow your very own pennies to drop for you – your personal development depends upon it.
Only a clear and uncluttered mind can be inspired. And the normal mind is anything but clear and uncluttered. Psychology explains that the normal mind is overwhelmed by random thought – some fifty thousand random thoughts zip through our minds every single day. Most of those thoughts are innocuous but, on the basis of research, some of those thoughts are self-destructive – I was going to say positively self-destructive but that would be an oxymoron – these negative thoughts are toxic. I’m speaking of the thoughts that create the illusions of low self-esteem, worry, anxiety, stress and depression. Left in its latent state, the adult mind simply cannot be inspired.
And is life worth enduring without the spark of inspiration? Is life nothing more than going through the motions if you’re not excited and delighted by the exhilaration of the out-of-the-ordinary? Unfortunately, the out-of-the-ordinary is far too rare an event for the normal mind that merely exists in the comfort of the routine. However, if you don’t jog yourself out of this deadly slumber you will simply not have experience real living. Not only that, you’ll be a negative influence on those around you – particularly the people that you claim to love.
Everybody is capable of being inspired and being inspirational. You are capable of escaping from the norm and living your very best life. But you’re going to have to make space for inspiration, you’ve got to give yourself the uncluttered and clear time to let the inner you out. My next-door neighbour in the Alps has often asked me what I do for a living. And, even though I’ve explained it to him a number of times, he still persists in asking – in his own words “It seems to myself and my wife that you waste a lot of time doing nothing!”
Doing nothing is not a waste of time. Doing nothing can often be the time most fruitfully spent. The clarity and peace of mind that comes with spending time doing nothing is the incubation chamber in which inspirational ideas simply spring to life. Thomas Edison found that he only became inspired when his mind was still to the extent that he set about creating quiet moments for his mind every day. The man had over four hundred inventions patented to his name. Pablo Picasso said that he was never sure when inspiration would strike so he made sure that he cultivated a prepared mind.
Are you prepared to be inspired? How regularly do you simply let your mind set off on flights of fancy? I’m not talking about wandering into negative thought – I’m talking about just allowing your mind wander onto what normal people would find unachievable or undoable. But such things are only undoable to a normal mind constrained by preconceived negative notions. De-program yourself – let yourself go, let yourself off the hook of normal ‘living inside the box’. Seek out your tree, sit under it and devote quality time doing nothing.