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Life's greatest and simplest hack

No. 022 Reading Time 4 minutes


Best thinking doesn't always happen in your chair.


Walking in the woods or the park when we are in the city has been a life-changing hack. Apart from burning calories, walking significantly improves your creativity and productivity.


It is our favorite cheat code.

Our antidote to life’s challenges.


History's most profound thinkers made walking a daily ritual to boost their creativity.


Henry David Thoreau, author of Walden, famously wrote:

Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.

Henry David Thoreau


Nietzsche took a walk with his notebook every day between 11 am and 1 pm. “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking,” he said.


While at Princeton University, Albert Einstein took a mile-and-a-half round-trip daily.


Charles Darwin took three 45-minute walks every day.


Ludwig Van Beethoven carried paper and pen to his walks to fuel his musical creativity. Sometimes for 5 hours.


Aristotle conducted walking lectures with his students.


William Wordsworth believed walking is a way to understand oneself.


Charles Dickens’s walks were as long as 20 miles around London. He often walked late at night when the streets were quiet.


Soren Kierkegaard said: “I have walked myself into my best thoughts.”


Stanford researchers found that walking boosts creative inspiration. Increasing a person's creative output increased by an average of 60 percent compared to sitting.


Walking is just not for poets and philosophers.


Everyone who has functioning legs and hips can use them to nurture their creative thinking and aid problem-solving.

It is a great fuel to jumpstart your thinking process.


You can skip coffee and instead do walking meetings like the modern-day leaders. Mark Zuckerberg often takes potential employees on a walk through the woods before delivering his hiring pitch.


LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner wrote in a LinkedIn post, “In addition to the obvious fitness benefits...this meeting format essentially eliminates distractions, so I find it to be a much more productive way to spend time.”


Some people take longer walks as a spiritual quest to reconnect with themselves.


In 2023, approximately 442,000 people walked the Camino de Santiago.

A pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. Only about a 1/3rd of the people were believers. Modern travelers are following tradition in search of their personal fulfillment.






Paulo Coelho discusses his adventures and his path to self-discovery in his book The Pilgrimage as he made his way across northern Spain.


So next time you’re stuck on a problem, need ideas for a project, or reconnect with yourself, just take a walk!




Share your results with us.

Love,

Raghav and Ansh


PS: We’d also love to know what you thought of this newsletter,

feel free to write feedback.

 

Oppezzo, an educational psychologist at Stanford studies the impact of movement and exercise on creative thinking.




In this episode, Mel talks with Professor Shane O’Mara. A renowned Oxford-trained neuroscientist. They talk about how research and neuroscience will empower you to conquer your fears, reduce your stress, and double the number of your creative ideas.



What you can read - Henry David Thoreau: Walking


"Walking" is not just an essay about how to take walks; it is deeply rooted in Henry David Thoreau's philosophy regarding nature and humanity.


 

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