Albert Einstein used a technique for deep thinking, which he referred to as "thought experiments." He didn't invent the technique, but perhaps made it more popular. It was essentially the practice of relaxing and setting a visualization in motion while watching it closely to see what might be discovered.

You may recall that he imagined himself riding a beam of light in this way, which lead to the Theory of Relativity. Elias Howe had a dream about cannibals attacking, and their spears had holes in them. This gave him the inspiration for the sewing machine he invented. There are many other examples of visual imagery leading to deep thoughts and inventions. Let's look at why it works and how to use it.

Deep Thinking - Watch That Mental Movie

What happens with this kind of deep thinking is that you tap into the creative power of you unconscious mind. For example, when I was having trouble selling a particular ebook I had written, I imagined giving it away. I actually pictured myself handing the book to a man, although it is an ebook so there is no paper version. He looked it over, and then something interesting happened. He asked me, "when can I have more?" Only then did I notice that I had only given him a chapter.

"Next week," I told him, and he nodded. This was the basic idea for what I actually did. I started giving the ebook away a chapter at a time by email (all set up on an autoresponder). People naturally got impatient if they liked it, and they chose to buy the complete book. Not only did this boost sales, but I hosted the free chapters on web pages where I made money on advertising.

Now, what is interesting here, is that the imagery took on a life of its own. I hadn't predetermined a solution beforehand, only to guide the imagined scene in that direction. My unconscious mind was doing its own deep thinking, and delivering images to me that suggested good ideas.

By the way, it seems to be easiest to find solutions to financial problems with creative thinking techniques. But this particular technique is great for philosophical issues and other "deep" questions, especially when you imagine conversations with wise people. The whole conversation is your creation, of course, yet the imagined figures will often come up with ideas you wouldn't have normally thought of. It seems likely that this is what is going on when people claim to be "channeling" individuals who lived in the past.

To do this yourself, simply start with an imagined scene that is relevant to whatever you are working on, and let that mental movie roll on its own. If you are trying to understand a moral issue, for example, start with a person facing a morally tough choice and watch to see how it turns out and what might be learned from what you see. If you are trying to boost sales at your restaurant, imagine a customer walking in to see if they like your place.

Practicing this deep thinking technique can cause you to fall deep asleep. Einstein is said to have held a rock in each hand, which would fall if he nodded off, and so wake him up and bring his attention back to the mental images that he was working with.

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