in Creativity, Motivation, Philosophy, Psychology, Science

A Toilet For The Mind

Why is it I always get my best ideas while shaving?” – Albert Einstein

Just getting this out of the way right away: Yes, we are going to talk about what goes on in the toilet. Shit is about to get real.

Toilet Rat

Oh god, oh god, oh gooood! Too real! =S

You remember that story about Archimedes’ “Eureka”-moment? If not, here’s a short recap!

King Hiero II suspected that the goldsmith he’d entrusted to make a votive crown had substituted some of the gold for another metal. He hired Archimedes to find out if his hunch was true.

Old Archie had spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure this one out. The answer came to him one day as he was getting into the bath. He noticed that the more he got in the more water got displaced. He realized that since different metals have different densities he could find out whether or not the gold had been substituted.

Next thing you know he was running stark naked down the streets shouting “Eureka!”.

But was the goldsmith guilty or not? You bet your sweet tush he was!

Eureka!

Greece Lightning!

This story has been questioned for a long time. The most famous doubting Thomas was Galileo Galilei. He pointed out how crude and inexact this method would have been. If you’re interested in reading the whole story check it out here.

What we’re examining today is: Can the bathroom/toilet/lavatory/WC be a good place to generate ideas?

Scyence says: Yes!

Here are some of the reasons:

1. You’re alone. Well, usually. OK, you might be into some stuff or just reeeaaally comfortable with handling your business around other people. In that case, this might be good for brainstorming?

2. No distractions unless you’ve put them there or brought one with you.

3. Time. You’re taking yourself out of the hustle and bustle for a little while.

4. Very little judging is going on. This is a secure area. You’re not trying to produce anything of value (yes, I find this statement very humorous too).

4. If you’re on the “hot seat” you’re symbolically getting rid of the old and making space for something new.

5. If you’re taking a shower it’s a signal to your body that you’re getting ready for a fresh start.

6. Also, the sound of a shower generates “white noise” which is awesome for both concentration and relaxation.

7. Water in general is associated with contemplation.

Waterworld

Indeed, this movie made me contemplate: “What the hell were they thinking?”.

We’ve talked about this before and it might be worth revisiting this entry.

I’ll bid you adieu with some quotes!

“One can resist the invasion of an army but one cannot resist the invasion of ideas.” – Victor Hugo

“If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied.” – Alfred Nobel

“Often the difference between a successful man and a failure is not one’s better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on his ideas, to take a calculated risk, and to act.” – Maxwell Maltz

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” – Robin Williams

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