“The moment my legs begin to move my thoughts begin to flow.” – Henry David Thoreau
A few weeks ago, I was preparing for presentation at Unilever on “why people leave their corporate jobs to follow their purpose.” Two days before the talk, a bit stressed with no slide deck or outline yet prepared, I chose not to sit down at my desk to write, but do something counterintuitive instead: I took a long walk.
My purpose wasn’t to solve the problem or even write my talk. Quite the opposite – I walked to get out of my head, forget about the talk, and just move my body.
But as I walked, I couldn’t stop ideas from coming to me. I found myself writing down notes and recording audio memos on my phone. Four hours later, I had a rough outline, an introduction, and a handful of new ideas and unique approaches I’d never considered before.
It’s happened to me enough times to believe – sometimes the best way to approach an unanswered question or hairy problem is with a blank notepad and a long walk.
I’ve started to write a longer article about this, but Ryan Holiday beat me to it.