Thursday, November 22, 2007

Trouble Sleeping? Get a Board of Directors!

Trouble sleeping through the night happens to all of us at one time or another.  One guy I know told me recently he has had trouble sleeping for years and was now considering medication.  I looked him in the eye, and said, "ahhh, you're a thinker!  Congratulations!"  He laughed and nodded yes, so I said "OK,  but before you try medication, you may just need a fun simple strategy to turn your brain off!"

Unresolved thoughts and ideas can back up like a clogged pipe if they have no outlet. That’s when your brain becomes like looped worn out tape keeping you up at night.  

To accomplish goals and get work done successful people run companies with a Board of Directors. You certainly do not need to own a big company to have questions and a need for guidance!  So I created my own Board of Directors!  I appointed my own team of advisors; some are my favorite dead relatives, some successful entrepreneurs and innovators, like John Rockefeller, Jr. and Einstein, and others are made-up counselors and guides.  Some are generalists and some have an assigned specialty.  Whenever I have a problem with no solution in sight, as I lay my head down on my pillow at night, I call a meeting with my Board of Directors. I silently present to my team the situation, or sometimes a list (!), and ask them to come up with a solution and get back to me ASAP. Delegated from my brain, I go to sleep smiling and peaceful.  The next morning while brushing my teeth or in the shower, I get one of those a-ha moments as a solution downloads into my head! Usually it comes during a quiet moment when I can hear. That is key; make time to listen.  

Who knows if I have a team of angels or this is simply my subconscious at work. Either way, it is so much fun and I sleep like a baby.  Some of these ideas are so clear and perfectly aligned to solve the problem, I sometimes spontaneously laugh out loud because I know the answer did not come from me!  However this works I am grateful.    

Take at least 10 minutes per day to eliminate all distractions and and simply listen.  I also call this power napping.  Not really a nap, just focus.  If you do this combined with any focused intention, and make the time to listen, you will be fascinated at what you hear.  

I'm often surprised at how even the most conservative people react to using this exercise.  I get a lot of, "you should write a book about this!".  I say, "I'd love to, but it's only a paragraph!"  So here you go!  Have fun!