Some of the greatest minds and creative talents throughout the centuries have been committed walkers. Aristotle, William Wordsworth, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ludwig van Beethoven, Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, Steve Jobs and many others all were daily walkers, and said taking a stroll was when they had their best ideas.
Many of these geniuses didn’t just take a short stroll around the block, or to and from the office; they walked almost aimlessly for miles. These great thinkers and artists were empowered by daily walking. You can be, too.
In modern society, being aimless is considered not so good. But aimless walking is another thing, and will likely help us to live with greater purpose. Leaving space for purposelessness, paradoxically, helps our sense of purpose and to imagine what is possible.
Aimless wandering is walking without any destination or route in mind. We just head out the door and follow our intuition. For this, we really need to put aside enough time. It’s best if we have at least a couple of hours, better an entire afternoon.
Task: Put aside an afternoon and go out alone for a long, aimless wander. Open your senses and focus on walking mindfully, as outlined in the previous article.
“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
On each walk, take a notebook with you. If an idea comes, or some other important thought, stop on the walk and note it down. Writing down our ideas in this way helps us to remember them, and also to keep our mind uncluttered.
This week walk 54 km. You can break it down into six walks:
- One five kilometer walk
- Two seven kilometer walks
- Two 10 km walks
- One 15 km walk.
Josh Gale – Kiwi journalist tracking adventures great and small