Over at The New York Times, Moshe Bar on the benefits of a clear mind:
Recently, I discovered how much we overlook, not just about the world, but also about the full potential of our inner life, when our mind is cluttered. In a study published in this month’s Psychological Science, the graduate student Shira Baror and I demonstrate that the capacity for original and creative thinking is markedly stymied by stray thoughts, obsessive ruminations and other forms of “mental load.” Many psychologists assume that the mind, left to its own devices, is inclined to follow a well-worn path of familiar associations. But our findings suggest that innovative thinking, not routine ideation, is our default cognitive mode when our minds are clear.
I always love the stories about how Steve Jobs would go on walks a lot, either to negotiate deals with other people or just by himself.
I do it a lot myself here in San Francisco, but I think the habit got formed in my 10+ years living in Manhattan because in New York, you have to walk everywhere (why wouldn’t you want to?).
It’s amazing the ideas that pop in my head when I’m walking. If you don’t do it, you should give it a try.