20 Reasons Why the Best Ideas Come in the Shower

20 Reasons Why the Best Ideas Come in the ShowerDuring the past 25 years, I’ve asked more than 10,000 people where and when they get their best ideas. I get all kinds of answers, but the one that has always fascinated me is “the shower” — maybe because I also get so many of my good ideas there.

And so, at the risk of overstating my case, I hereby offer you 20 reasons WHY the shower is so conducive to new ideas.

  1. Showering signals “a new day” or “new beginning.”
  2. You’re usually alone, with time to reflect.
  3. Interruptions are rare.
  4. The rush of water creates a kind of “white noise” that makes concentration easier.
  5. Shower stalls look like little incubation chambers.
  6. Water is associated with “contemplation” (i.e. sitting near a river, lake, or ocean.)
  7. Showering is a metaphor for “getting rid of the dirt” — the stuff that covers up what’s beneath.
  8. Showering is a ritual. Lots of creative people like to have little rituals to get their head in the right place.
  9. You can write your ideas on the walls with a water soluble pen.
  10. There’s not a lot of judgment or analysis going on in a shower.
  11. A hot shower opens the pores — and by extension, maybe the mind.
  12. Showering wakes up you. It makes you more alert.
  13. Showering is a relaxing and stress free experience. With nothing to stress about, your mind is free to roam new territories.
  14. If you shampoo, you’re massaging your head. That’s gotta be good.
  15. It’s hard to check your iphone or Blackberry in a shower.
  16. Albert Einstein also did his best thinking near a shower. (“Why is it I always get my best ideas while shaving?”)
  17. Water is associated with “flow.” Being in the “flow state” is often a precursor to creative thinking.
  18. There is no deliverable expected of you.
  19. If you shower with a friend, and he/she happens to be in a brainstorming mode, lots of great ideas get sparked.
  20. Showering is easy. Not a lot of thinking is required to make it happen, which frees your mind to think about other things.

Any other possibilities come to mind?

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Mitch DitkoffMitch Ditkoff is the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions and the author of “Awake at the Wheel”, as well as the very popular Heart of Innovation blog.

This entry was posted in Creativity, Headlines, Innovation and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to 20 Reasons Why the Best Ideas Come in the Shower

  1. Michael Amsellem says:

    Water is associated is some languages to what ?
    Maim -> Ma (Hebrew)
    Wasser -> Was ? (German)
    Agua -> Que (Spanish)

    It then may ask question while on shower !

  2. Mike Biggs says:

    I love this article as it adds some credence to what I have been banging on about for years.

    I can add a little to this and it comes from a scientific perspective.

    Here is a cut from my blog post of 2005:

    ” Take a shower. (this is my personal favourite). When in the shower you are bombarded with Negative Ions (from the water in the air), which enhance your well-being and promote a positive attitude. But more important than the touchy feely well being stuff, it enhances your ability to think, and specifically think creatively. – Have you ever noticed that you think alot in the shower? It’s not because showering is boring, but because your brain is in TOP GEAR.”

    Here is my original post with much more on creativity and how to look at the process. http://bigsmallbrands.blogspot.com/2005/12/personal-creativity-taken-from-chapter.html

    Here is my latest blog, now focussing on Cognitive Science [Thinking] http://baronmikebiggs.wordpress.com/

    Thanks for listening :)

    Mike Biggs

  3. Pingback: How does the Shower help you to think? « Thinking about thinking

  4. Perry Wilson says:

    cute idea – I have to admit that the shower is not where I get my best ideas but the quiet and no distractions still fit.

    One thing that has occurred to me it that the shower, or other quiet place is somewhere you aren’t expected to come up with ideas, so you can relax and let the ideas flow.

    thanks for the post

  5. Katri says:

    The movement and the sound from up to down is itself relaxing.

  6. Regina says:

    I love this…my best ideas come in the shower too. I don’t know why they come in the shower but they do. A better question might be “Do you use your shower ideas?” I use a good share of my shower ideas at work. I can write all my shower ideas down on a waterproof notepad product called aquanotes (www.myaquanotes.com). They have been a great addition to my shower. My tip for the day is to write down those brilliant epiphanies so you don’t forget them.

  7. Mitch,

    Great post!

    For this reason – I have a scuba diver’s writing slate in my shower. It is a pencil and a piece of plastic.

    It prevents those great ideas from going down the drain.

    Here’s a link to my article about this:

    Dive Slate: Shower Idea Catcher

    I highly recommend it.

  8. Ginny McCrum says:

    9-17-10

    1. Water is associated with the subconscious (below the surface), where creativity is stored, along with psychic powers — higher levels of awareness and, I believe, where our guides and helpers can send us ideas, inspirations, guidance and such. As they question, “Is there ever an original idea?” Who really knows from where or whom our ideas arrive.

    2. Water is associated with Mother Nature’s womb, who gives birth to life, so why not to new ideas?

    3. Water is associated with feelings vs. thoughts, hence following your gut (instinct/intuition/imagination) vs. head (ideas/intellect/intention — although true intention involves thought and feelings to be realized), and ignoring your mind and just being and letting inspiration flow up to your head and then forming inverted drops in your brain — words.

    4. Water hydrates the body and, hence, brain, that got dusty and thirsty (dried up ideas) during its fast the night before. “A shower is break-fast for the mind” – Virginia McCrum (me)

    5. Water acts as a lubricant, which we all know is needed for more efficient movement and flow of all kinds — :) .

    6. Water is a conduit for electricity — so it helps electrical (im)pulses move more readily between right and left brain hemispheres.

    7. Water quenches thirst, and it’s hard to focus on anything when you’re thirsty, so after you give your body a drink, then you can reset. Haven’t you ever heard, “Have a drink to clear your mind?” I sure hope that wasn’t meant for alcoholic beverages, as they actually constrict flow and dry you up, allowing you to close your mind and open your feelings, which also allows creative flow, but can you remember? Water both opens brain flow and the subconscious of the heart — feelings and inspirations. Did you drink your 6-12 cups today?

    8. Water has been called the Universal Solvent, so it dissolves the clutter in our brains and then carries them out the drain.

    9. Water makes up about 70% of the planet surface. When we hydrate our bodies a bit more after drying out in sleep, we more closely match the Earth’s constitution, so we align with Mother Nature, whom we all know gifts us with creativity.

    10. Oh yeah, another thing on that conduit idea — when we shower with so many others on Earth at the same time, ideas move from shower to shower across the planet, if not the universe and beyond (alien inspirations?), although we’re not all showering together (time zones). Just imagine if we could tap into the brains of the world by showering at the same time. It’s possible, especially if your psychic powers/subconscious are enhanced, too. Warning: Be careful what you think in the shower, as someone may steal your ideas. :)

    11. Water “is in dynamic equilibrium between the liquid and gas states at standard temperature and pressure,” according to Wikipedia (some brain who took a shower before writing this). “At room temperature, it is a nearly colorless with a hint of blue, tasteless, and odorless liquid (he must have been wet).” So, when you have a shower at various temperatures and pressures, you’re messing with chemistry/science and stirring up stuff and creating gasses, so perhaps you’re getting your brain high, and one gets great ideas when high, before the munchies set in — then it’s time for breakfast. :)

    12. What does a glass of water or shower, smoking a cig and standing barefoot in the grass all have in common? They are all grounding, moving matter/liquid/gasses/chemicals/energy from top to bottom, which is calming and cleansing (except cigs, whose first inhale of smoke mirrors this, but the harm, stimulation and stress they later cause, disqualifies them). In other words, they all pull down the mud from your brain/mind and put it back where it belongs – in the ground, leaving you clear, refreshed and ready to create new mud pies.

    13. In conclusion, “Water is the only common substance found naturally in all three common states of matter and it is essential for life on Earth,” says the showering Wikipedia soul. If essential for all of Creation, then why not for idea creation, with a little “c”?

    I’m sure I could go on, but I’ll stop there, as if you can believe it, I haven’t had my morning cup of Kangen water yet (blends H20 with O2 — or heart and head, subconscious with conscious). :)

    Cheers,

    Ginny McCrum
    Copyright 2010 :0

    p.s. I didn’t hunt around to see beyond the few replies showing on my screen to see what others said, in case someone on another page (if there were more replies) may have come up with similar ideas as me or vice versa (if so — doubt it — perhaps we showered together — at the same time, that is :) .

    p.p.s. Mitch, where’s my consulting fee check? Feel free to hire me down the road for more inspiration (and pay me if you use this in your next book). :)

  9. Ken says:

    Showers are great for ideas. I even write mine down while I am in the shower thanks to my wife finding a product called aquanotes. I thought about developing a product like this many times, but never acted on it. It guess it pays to heed your shower thoughts.

  10. Pingback: 20 razões pelas quais as melhores ideias nascem no chuveiro | Café com Blogueiros

  11. Mastahh says:

    Hey, I’ve just referenced this article in one of my blog posts =)

    -M^

  12. Tim says:

    It heats up your bodys core temperature which help the brain process thoughts faster

  13. Pingback: Why First Impressions Are Lasting Impressions | ERIC GERONA CARNAJE

  14. Pingback: RE: Framed The Power of the Shower | channeling Edna

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