Much like my last bait-clicky headline, I have no real brain improvement suggestions here. Like last week, I’m going to share examples of famous people who believed walking was integral to their work and productivity.
The peripatetics were the group of students who belonged to Aristotle’s school of thought. The word ‘peripatetic’ is Greek for meandering and the famed philosopher conducted his lectures while walking the school grounds. It’s interesting to reflect on all the walking research being done today when one of history’s greatest minds already knew the cognitive benefits of moving and thinking.
I mentioned Charles Dickens in part one of this article and one of his contemporaries, also a Charles, used walking to get a handle on his ideas. Charles Darwin had a gravel path in the Kent countryside near his home he used to call the thinking path. His intellectual routine meant that twice a day he would walk the path, reflecting on his day in a natural environment.
Darling Albert is the author of one of my favorite quotes: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” While my moving typically involves my feet versus wheels, I am totally on board with his philosophy. The act of not moving leads to stagnancy in one’s life. And moving was something the famed theoretical physicist firmly believed in. His chosen environs? The beach. He believed a long walk here would lead to introspection which in turn would help him work out the complex thoughts he was doubtlessly continuously having at work.
Steve Jobs, you know, the Apple guy, took long walks for a different purpose. When he wanted to have a serious conversation with someone, he preferred to do it moving, on foot. He was one of the walking meetings pioneers and once you try it, you’ll find that getting away from the distraction of the office will enable you and your colleague to focus more on the task at hand.
Mark Zuckerberg, another Silicon Valley icon prefers the walking interview. Walking the Facebook campus versus sitting behind a desk, he presumably gets a better idea of the person and how they may fit with the Facebook culture. Being in an environment atypical for the task at hand often leads to uncharacteristic reactions.
Something as simple as getting up and going for a walk might just release your inner genius. If you’re looking to get those creative juices flowing and improve your overall well-being, make like the thinking experts, and walk.
Image courtesy of negativespace.co