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Wake Up Your Mind!

  • Dan Miller
  • 2008 6 Nov
Wake Up Your Mind! – This comes from a story I read in the classic little book I Dare You.  A professor once hit upon a great discovery while buttoning up his vest.  Or rather, he hit upon the discovery because his vest wouldn’t button up.  His little daughter had sewn up some of the buttonholes by mistake.  His fingers were going along as usual in their most intricate operations of buttoning a button, when something happened.  A button wouldn’t button.

His fingers fumbled helplessly for a moment, then sent out a call for help.  His mind woke up.  The eyes looked down………a new idea was born, or rather a new understanding of an old idea.  What the professor had discovered was that fingers can remember. You know how automatic things can become, riding a bicycle, using a keyboard, or even driving home from the office.

Then the professor began playing pranks on his classes, and he found that the answer was always the same.  As long as they could keep on doing the things they had always done, their minds wouldn’t work.  It was only when he figuratively sewed up their buttonholes, stole their notebooks, locked the doors, upset their routine, that any thinking was done.

“A lot of what we think of as neurosis in this country is simply people who are unhappy because they’re not using their creative resources.”  Julia Cameron

So he came to the great, and now generally accepted, conclusion that the mind of man is “an emergency organ.”  That it relegates everything possible to automatic functions as long as it is able, and that it is only when the old order of things won’t work any longer that it gets on the job and starts working.  Keeping things the same may be keeping you stupid. 

So my advice is this: Sew up some buttonholes in your life.  Drive a different route home from work.  Read a book you would not normally read.  Write your name with the hand opposite your normal dominance to see how it wakes up your brain.  Take time to stop to help a stranded motorist. Volunteer to help on a community project.  And welcome the unexpected “closed buttonholes” this week. You may be surprised at having your brain turn on. Who knows what creative ideas or solutions you may discover. You may even brighten up your face!

“Research shows that 90 percent of five-year olds are creative, but only 2 percent of adults are.”  Lee Lilber

From the Bible:

“Who is like the wise man? Who knows the explanation of things?  Wisdom brightens a man’s face and changes its hard appearance.”  Ecclesiastes 8: 1 (NIV)

Direction for Today:

What could you do today to wake up your mind?


Dan Miller is President of The Business Source, founder of "48 Days" and author of 48 Days To The Work You Love and 48 Days To Creative Income. He is the growing authority for creating effective life plans that are achieved by integrating natural gifts, unique personality traits and one's own values and passions. His unique clarification of how God gifts us will introduce you to a new sense of freedom and fulfillment of your life's calling. For more information, visit