No matter the
kind of work you do, “power lounging” can make a big contribution to
your happiness and success.
I do not recall
where first heard that phrase but I recall the concept all the way back
to Thomas Edison’s biography. I remember how surprised I was that he
would take naps to resolve impasses with one of his inventions. Some of
his best products came from those naps. He actually dreamed solutions to
Power lounging is
consciously turning off activity and relaxing for the purpose of
restoring the body and mind’s energy. A byproduct of power lounging is
the tendency of the subconscious mind to roll out great ideas while in a
state of relaxation. I have actually dreamed complete songs when I
relaxed into power lounging and eased off into a light sleep.
When I left
full-time work at the courthouse, my inner “g-string” (as in the
high-tuned 5th string of a banjo) was so tight I could not
relax. For 16 years I had been on one of the fastest tracks in town and
even when I pulled off on a sidetrack, my motor kept churning.
It was like a car
wreck where the car stops but you go flying through the windshield. I
guess it was some kind of occupational postpartum depression.
I remember well
the day I knew I had to do something about it. I said I would not do
anything at all until my body and mind wound down and I could enjoy some
quiet solitude. Days of uptight floor walking and chewing of fingernails
and toenails turned into weeks. Slowly the inner coil spring turned
loose and then the idea slot machine paid off as I went through weeks of
ideas flooding my consciousness. They always came when I was relaxed.
“power” in “power lounging.” The world’s greatest power
resides in ideas. He who has the most and best ideas in any field is
always the greatest success.
Power lounging is
literally a way to find yourself and a much better way than the Grady
Brewer technique. One morning when he went to work at the coal mine he
woke his son Terry and told him to hoe the garden that day. Terry was
starting a band and trying to decide the kind of music he would perform
so he listened to records all day Grady came home and asked what he had
been doing all day and Terry said, “I have been trying to find
myself.” Grady said, “Let me help you” and led Terry out to the
barn. He took Terry’s left hand and but it half way down the hoe, then
he took his right hand and put it at the top. He said, “Now son, I
have helped you find yourself. Look! That’s you on that hoe. Now get
out there and hoe the garden!”
Power lounging is
not so controlled. It doesn’t often impart ideas directly but
surrounds them with a dream or a reverie like goodies hidden in Cracker
Jack boxes. Just keep munching on the quiet moments and the goody will
People may look
at you funny when you start power lounging – a look that says “why
aren’t you working.” There’s no praise in our priority-crippled
society for long lazy walks. No supervisor is likely to tell you on a
hot summer day to take off your shoes and go looking for driftwood along
the Chickamauga Lake shoreline. Yet some of my best ideas have come from
that peaceful activity.
One day I played
hooky from school. I walked to a large grove of tall pine trees next to
the creek behind my house. I stretched out and laid back on my coat in
the thick pine needles and spent the day watching the white clouds move
between the pines. It did something for me that no doctor, psychiatrist
or preacher could ever do.
It helped me find
myself. It sure beat calling Grady.
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