Lately I’ve been struggling. Struggling with minor back problems and a knee injury that led to recent meniscus surgery. I’ve also been struggling with an idea for my next blog. I think these two struggles are related and that my knee injury is somehow linked to my creativity.

If you’ve read my blog in the past, you have probably noticed that I formulate and work through a lot of my blog ideas while riding my bike through the Madison countryside. With my recent knee injury, I’ve been missing that opportunity to contemplate and crystalize my thoughts. As I’ve muddled through these injuries, I’ve also been unable to practice yoga. Not only am I losing my flexibility, I’m also losing the opportunity to slow down and calm my mind. Consequently, when it came to my blog, I’ve had a couple of ideas, but they seem to stay jumbled in my head. I can’t quite link where the idea came from, how it applies in the business world, and how I can share its applicability to readers in their daily lives.

Ironically, I originally started biking and practicing yoga purely for physical benefits. Biking is obviously a great cardio workout and I tried yoga as way to resolve long-term back problems. Over time, I realized that yoga helped me focus and calm my mind, while biking helped stimulate the development of ideas I wanted to focus on and also helped me organize my thoughts. Now I’m missing biking and yoga for both the physical and the mental benefits.

So as I’m recovering from my knee surgery and away from these tools I took for granted, what I am realizing is that there is a need not only to de-stress in our busy business lives, but also a need to create a regular environment for creative thinking. This may include physical activities like running, swimming, hiking, etc., or with more contemplative activities like meditation or writing.

If you’re not already doing this, I encourage you to think about establishing a regular practice that helps you calm and stimulate your mind to encourage your creative thinking, ability to solve complex problems, and think strategically. If you have something that you do in this regard, I’d be interested in hearing about it.