Tag Archives: Shower Thinking

Gonna wash those thoughts right outta my head

Over the years, some of my best thoughts have come to me in the shower. For some reason, others seem to find that strange.

When I tell people that “I was thinking about this in the shower this morning,” people seem surprised, if not bewildered. When I tell clients that some of my most productive but non-billable time spent thinking about their case was in the shower, they look at me like I must be joking. But I’m not.

Until Monday, I was convinced I might be the only person out there who believed in the amazing power of shower-thinking. But then things changed. For none other than Nassim Nicholas Taleb, brilliant philosopher and author of the amazing book “The Black Swan,” placed his seal of approval on the power of shower-thinking. Perhaps now I might even start billing some lucky clients for the time I spend thinking about their cases in the shower.

Taleb’s latest book is called “The Bed of Procrustes – Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms.” It is a curious follow-up to his seminal work, “The Black Swan,” in which he managed to change the way many of us view the world.

As the title implies, the new book is a simple book of aphorisms. An aphorism is defined by Merriam Webster as “a concise statement of a principle.” I will leave it to those of you interested enough in Taleb’s work to buy the new book to decipher the significance of its title. Suffice it to say, it provides a powerful metaphor for Taleb’s basic premise: that we humans just don’t do a great job dealing with the unknown.

I had just begun to read the book when there it was, right on the bottom of page 5: “Your brain is most intelligent when you don’t instruct it on what to do – something people who take showers discover on occasion.” I was floored. None other than Nassim Nicholas Taleb had confirmed what I always suspected. There is value in shower thinking. Read More »