When I was growing up and sitting in the back of my parents’ car, I remember one thing more than anything else:
My father driving with the parking brake on.
Our cars were stick-shift (I grew up in England, where manual transmission is common) and they had a big lever that operated the parking brakes. My father would pull up the lever each time we parked.
… And then he would forget to release it – and wonder why it was so hard to drive.
The same thing happens in life.
Too often we try to be creative – to come up with an idea for our business or the solution to the problem – with the parking brake on.
We sit hunched in front of our computer, all clenched down on the problem. Efforting and stressing and pressuring.
It’s only when we release the brake and relax that the answer comes.
The trouble is, we’re trained to sit and work. Taking time out feels like goofing off.
But I can tell you from experience, I get my best ideas when I release the brake and let the wheels turn; when I relax and let the answers in.