When Ideas Flow Best

Too often I think ideas – for me that’s in my teaching, counseling, or leadership – will come during the work I put into one of those areas.

However, I often struggle to come up with ideas in those very moments.

Of course, books like the Doing the Work by Steven Pressfield are true, when they stress the importance of sitting down and getting things done – writing, creating, planning. Thankfully ideas come in those moments too, but usually with a higher work hours to idea ratio.

Ideas come to me in the most ordinary, non-work, moments. Riding my bike, walking my dog, doing a leg exercise at the gym, just before I hit the pillow, listening to music on a run/walk.

I know there’s a science behind this. Google it if you’d like.

This makes me understand why ordinary time, sabbath, rest, and play is so vital. First, it helps us trust God that everything doesn’t rely on us. But interestingly enough, it actually helps us get stuff done – or at least the ideas that make our work better or more creative.

Here’s some recent examples for me:

  • This past Easter’s teaching theme came from randomly listening to a podcast back in October.
  • An idea for Good Friday theme came to me on a long walk listening to music.
  • 2 points for an upcoming message popped into my mind while at the gym this morning.

That’s partly because God is at work all the time getting our attention. But there’s a unique surprise that some of our best ideas will come from the most ordinary moments.

Where do your best ideas come from?

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