You’re probably familiar with the concept of carving out time to work toward your goals. However, have you considered carving out an actual physical space in which you can facilitate those goals?
Do you have a dedicated place in your home where you can daydream without interruption? Do you have a place where the ideas you have can also have you? In other words, do you have a place where your thoughts and ideas have a wide range of freedom?
Preferably, this space has a door that closes, but a nook by the window will work as long as you can remain undisturbed. You want to get so lost in thought that you find solutions to problems you didn’t even know you had. You want a place where you can imagine the possibilities of imagining the possibilities.
A private space will allow you to inhabit a quiet place in your mind, a place where you’ll find that what you’re looking for is also looking for you.
Writer Hermann Hesse said, “Solitude is independence.” Independence of thought can only really be achieved without distraction. This type of deep focus comes from being able to hear yourself think. Doing so in a space bombarded by the thoughts, ideas and the voices of others is nearly impossible.
Having a place where you can leave all your distractions at the door and follow your own breadcrumbs from one idea to the next is vital to giving yourself freedom of thought and to tapping in to your own creativity. In such a place, free from the Internet of Things, you will make your own connections and realizations. Here, what you think will truly be your own.
What you need in this space is completely up to you, but choose wisely. Perhaps you are a minimalist who requires only a notebook, lamp, chair and desk. Perhaps you require more movement while you think and would include a yoga mat to flow through ideas and poses. Perhaps you require deep rest and would include a long, cushy sofa so your ideas feel more like dreams.
In some ways, such a space can come to symbolize your brain and your capacity for originality and ingenuity, so build the space to suit your needs and infuse it with a reverence that calls for respect — respect from others, surely, but also from yourself. So, build it and they will come — your ideas, that is.
William W. Brown is founder and board chair of Legacy Early College. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.