Let Your Subconscious Solve It

February 12, 2019 - 2 minutes read

The most useful idea I learned in college is this:  If you have a problem you can’t solve, just put it in your subconscious and wait for an answer.

During law school I enrolled in an evening Shakespeare class taught by Professor Alan Casson. His second lecture was interrupted several times by students asking him questions.

“Please hold your questions until the end,” he said.  “I’m sure I will answer all of them during my lecture.”

I thought his statement was arrogant, and promised myself I would write down six questions to ask him at the end of class.

Alas, Professor Casson’s lecture was as good as his promise.  I had no questions.

The final exam was one long question encompassing all five Shakespeare plays we had studied.  I read the question.  I thought, “This is the best exam question I have ever read in my life.”  I read the question a second time.  My next thought was, “I have no idea how to answer this.  I don’t even know where to start.”

Fortunately, I remembered the textbook advice from my freshman Psychology class, and said to myself, “Subconscious, take over.”

Those were the days of ballpoint pens and bluebooks.  I looked down and saw my right hand moving the pen.  It was as if someone else had taken control of my hand which was doing the writing.

“That’s pretty good,” I smiled. “Did I know all that?”

It was a first for me – watching my hand write an answer to an exam question in an almost magical, stream-of-consciousness response. It must have been a great answer because I received an “A” on the exam and in the class.

For many years I have used the same technique in my business and in my writing.  When I don’t know the answer, I ask my subconscious to do the work.

I hope you enjoyed this blog.  My “subconscious” thanks you.

Alan

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