To truly excel, we must cultivate access to intuition—the bridge between the conscious and unconscious mind that is the well-spring of our creativity. We can achieve this access by alternating deep and repetitive study at the highest possible level with periods of rest and relaxation. When we connect with our intuition, we are calling into service a part of our brain that can perceive the interconnections between vast amounts of technical knowledge and instantaneously harmonize them into a single creative solution.
In Josh’s Words
In my opinion, intuition is our most valuable compass in this world. It is the bridge between the unconscious and the conscious mind, and it is hugely important to keep in touch with what makes it tick. If we get so caught up in narcissistic academic literalism that we dismiss intuition as nonexistent because we don’t fully understand it, or if we blithely consider the unconscious to be a piece of machinery that operates mystically in a realm that we have no connection to, then we lose the rich opportunity to have open communication with the wellspring of our creativity.
Much of what separates the great from the very good is deep presence, relaxation of the conscious mind, which allows the unconscious to flow unhindered. This is a nuanced and largely misunderstood state of mind that when refined involves a subtle reintegration of the conscious mind into a free-flowing unconscious process. The idea is to shift the primary role from the conscious to the unconscious without blissing out and losing the precision the conscious can provide.
Further reading: Chapter 13: Slowing Down Time, Chapter 14: The Illusion of the Mystical
From THE ART OF LEARNING by Josh Waitzkin. Copyright © 2007 by Josh Waitzkin LLC.
Reprinted by permission of Free Press, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc