habit zero #061

the challenge



Today we are following Einstein in a search for Insight inspired by the person, concepts related to his work, or any other association that will come to mind along the way.

Let’s see what surprising Insights we will find.

my insight


Let’s start with a disclaimer: the following might include physics-nonsense, which has nothing to do with Einstein. Remember that we are in association mode, and not in an in-depth physics learning mindset.

With that in mind, I found this abstract graphics on the side of a car.

The second I saw it I thought of light waves or light particles moving fast, shooting through space. I thought about different timelines tangled in each other and splitting to different alternate universes at certain points. I thought about things pulled into a black hole with no chance to get away. And finally, when I look at this Insight now writing this entry, I think about the hand of time from which we are trying to escape with no success.



There are two things I would like to reflect on based on the Einstein Insight I captured today.

The first is that associations work in mysterious ways. Don’t waste your time trying to make sense of them. Just enjoy them and let them lead the way instead.

When I thought about Einstein and saw the abstract graphic, my mind started to work. The first couple of things that came to my mind were related to physics in general and specifically to Einstein’s work (well, at least as much as I can say). But my brain didn’t stop there. Or more accurately, I gave my brain the space to go on playing with this association stream. That’s how I came up with the thought about time and us.

Now, maybe this is not the most original thought. Fair enough. But when you consider it in the context of interpreting the drawing I saw, it gets a new life — a new context to live in. It becomes less trivial because it is now attached to a visual — to a visible metaphor.

What’s probably less apparent in the insight above is what I decided to leave out. This was not the complete drawing I saw. These wavy strings merged at the left side into an eagle’s head. Which had nothing to do with Einstein as far as my brain can associate.

The realization that we can take pieces of what we find — fragments of it or specific attributes — and use them instead of the complete object, concept, or idea, opens infinite new opportunities.

This is what raw material really means. You don’t have to use it as is. You can break it down, reassemble it, or just take a small piece of it. You already know that in creativity there are no wrong things — whatever works is perfect. And today, cropping (first in my mind and then digitally) the picture I saw and adopting only one element of it was the most productive and creative path to follow.

mental notes


  • Give your brain space to flow with associations even if you think you already found what you are looking for.
  • Raw material is not a package deal. You can take fragments or specific attributes of the raw material you find and use only this part.

now it is your turn… be creative!


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