I’m just back from vacation, during which I spent – or, it seems like I spent – most of the time on the highway. We traveled from NC to NY, about 800 miles. Breaking the trip into two days each way means we spent the better part of four days out of eight in the car. Lots of I’s: I-85, I-77, I-81, I-88, I-90.
Fortunately, “I” means “Incubation.”
Incubation is that time when you are not consciously thinking about a problem. Epstein (in Runco, 2007) suggested that people have their best ideas while in bed, the bath, or a bus – that is, while daydreaming or not consciously focusing on a problem. I experienced this in the car this week. While driving, particularly (as opposed to while sitting in the navigation seat – I’m not sure why), ideas came. Lots of them. Not all at once, but here and there, in bursts and in solo appearances.
In this instance, my incubation-inspired-ideas were helped along by my companion, who is married to me, and who likes to bat around ideas as much as I do. I do not know what we will do with our ideas, if anything, but on the trip we invented a new product for dorm rooms, and created a new category of hotel.
Driving, we had specific destinations. In our past life, before we had small children with us whenever we travel, we liked just getting out on the interstate and going. I is for Interstate, and also for Incubation.
Where has your mind taken you lately?
Reference: Runco, M. (2007). Creativity: Theories and Themes: Research, Development, Practice. Burlington, MA: Elsevier.