In high school, I was in the Black Hoodie Gang. Not very threatening, but we all wore a lot of black hoodies. We all did pretty well in school, despite our darker-than-norm clothing attire, and our parents were all pretty lax because of it. In a sense, pulling up your black hoodie is sort of like putting blinders on a horse. Takes away distractions. And in some way, maybe the hoodie informed our work ethic.
Maybe you’ve seen this one before. It’s a Huberman Lab idea.
I don’t always listen to the Huberman Lab, but when I do, I want to focus on it.
HubermanLab Podcasts are long and backed by science, so I want to be able to focus on it. Oftentimes, I’ll listen to Huberman on a long car ride. Like on the way to go rollerskate solo at hour-away skate parks.
The lower the ceiling, the lower the thoughts. The higher the ceiling, the loftier the thoughts.
In elementary school, I would set up a little binder-fortress around my desk during tests. Inquiring minds want to wander. An enclosed mind stays put.
We all did the binder thing. Ideas are contagious.
If three people put up the folder wall, everyone is putting up the folder wall. But not on only did that keep our eyes off everyone else’s paper. It also constricted our thoughts to the matter at hand.
Well, if you’re in a brain-storming phase.
In the creative phase. In a wondering and wandering phase. Of life, a particular project, or a part of your day, week, or month … you’ll do best in a lofty ceiling.
So, take a walk through a field, and the sky’s the limit.
Lay in a hammock; the sky’s the limit.
Go camping at night under a meteor shower. Maybe the whole universe is the limit.
Stuck in a tornado shelter with your family while weathering a storm? Probably not thinking about a limitless universe. You’re thinking about what’s directly in front of you.
An Accounting firm might do well underground. A marketing firm? Likely not so well. A marketing firm needs to find new ideas. An Accounting firm needs to stay on track.
If you’re in need of honing your focus, a cold dark room with your favorite pajamas, black hoodie, hot tea, a small candle, and the matter at hand is possibly perfect.
If you’re feeling trapped in life creatively or otherwise, the black hoody gang is not going to get you out. You need lofty ceilings to find new ideas. So if you don’t have a fancy living room with 2-story windows, it’s gonna be best to go outside.
A cloudy day will feel more constricting than a sunny day. But on a cloudy day, it will behoove you to remember stories of people helping people. Whether it was you that helped someone or someone that helped you, just think about it. Specifically, find a story where the helper didn’t HAVE to help. They just did. How did you feel after that? How would you tell the story?
If you need a change of space for lofty ideas that don’t require too much to do, check out your local Botanical Garden. You’ll be surrounded by nature, and the biodiversity will help you remember that differences are natural, and beautiful, and help feed the world.
You’re going to want a low ceiling or a big hoodie when you’re ready to focus.
The perfect occasion for a lofty ceiling is when you’re wanting to think creatively, look for new ideas, or brainstorm.
When you’re ready to wonder what you’re wondering about, try outside, or a location with a high ceiling, or a Botanical Garden.
Here’s the Huberman Lab Episode —>>