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Back from Vacation: Find Your Aha! Moment Today!
The great, dreaded re-entry into life after beach: The freckles on your shoulders, the sand in your hair (and down your ears), the blissed-out feeling that lasts right up to the moment you reach your desk, only to—ugh—sludge down on your chair and try to accomplish something without sliding into a weird office/resort daydream in which you're laying out on the scanner, browning your backside while drinking a margarita from the water cooler, now filled with frozen strawberry drinks.
The first day back to work is never fun—even if your work is staying at home. But brain researchers now claim that this unique time period may be the key to some mental breakthroughs. Dr. David Rock's classic piece in Psychology Today, describes how coming back can inspire fresh answers to old, unsolved problems you left behind. He writes:
"It turns out that the ability to stop oneself from thinking something is central to creativity. For example, if you are trying to solve the six-letter anagram 'Bmusic' you would have to stop thinking about the word 'music' to get the correct word (which is 'cubism').
After a vacation, this happens all by itself as your circuits for solving a problem one way have become less dominant. This idea also explains why I like playing pieces I have written on the piano after a long break. I tend to naturally do things differently because the circuits are not held as tightly, and I stumble upon happy musical accidents along the way.
What this means at work is that new answers to tough problems are more likely to emerge from your mind when you haven't thought about a problem for a while. So use this resource, use your fresh mind to tackle big challenges."
Hmm...I wonder if this idea will help me with my number one work problem: eating too many gummy bears after 3 p.m. and giving myself a crippling sugar hangover. I don't want the hangover. But I do want the gummy bears. I fear my breakthrough may involve a fresh, new idea called willpower.
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