I got a call from the head of the organization I worked with at a rather odd hour. That hardly ever happened so I knew something was wrong. He gives me the detail of the issue and I knew we were on our way to losing one of the biggest clients we had. We needed to fix this issue. We scheduled a first-thing-in-the-morning meeting with relevant heads while I pretended to be in control. I had dropped the call to pop the last few pieces of groundnut in my sweaty palms.

Like when you step on a thread mill that’s already rolling, I jumped into a panic mode that lasted a few minutes before I went to bed. “Tomorrow will sort itself”, I told myself the way I tell myself these things every once in a while I face challenges. But I was unknowingly adopting a technique that actually exists. Ever felt better about an issue after going to bed?

If you remember from my article, How I Got Out Of Depression, I talked briefly about a Mind Program I *purchased(the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought online) called the Silva Life System 2.0. One of the techniques in this audio mind program is called the Glass of Water Exercise.

According to Laura Silva, The Glass of Water Excercise is used for problem solving and goal achievement. Here is how it works:

Just before retiring to bed, get a water glass and fill with water. while drinking approximately half of the water, close your eyes, say to yourself mentally, “this is all I have to do to find the solutions to the problem I have in mind”. Put away the remaining half, go to bed and sleep. In the morning upon aawakening, drink the remaining half, then close your eyes, turning them slightly upward, say to yourself mentally, this is all I have to do to find the solution I have in mind. With this programming, you may wake in the morning with a vivid recollection of an idea that contains the solution to the problem. Or while doing your day-to-day, you may have a flash of insight that may contain information for solving the problem you have.

Witchcraft yeah? Does it work? Wrong question. Right question: How does it work?

Thomas Hardy once said, “Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.”

In an article on Inc.com, Benjamin Hardy talks about learning to channel your thinking both conscious and subconscious creating a condition that makes achieving your objectives easier.

He instructs, “Take a few moments before you go to bed to meditate on and write down the things you’re trying to accomplish.  Ask yourself loads of questions related to that thing. In Edison’s words, make some “requests.” Write those questions and thoughts down on paper. The more specific the questions, the more clear will be your answers.

“While you’re sleeping, your subconscious mind will get to work on those things.

I add a further excerpt from his article, Research confirms the brain, specifically the prefrontal cortex, is most active and readily creative immediately following sleep. Your subconscious mind has been loosely mind-wandering while you slept, making contextual and temporal connections. Creativity, after all, is making connections between different parts of the brain.

In a recent interview with Tim Ferriss, Josh Waitzkin, former chess prodigy and tai chi world champion, explains his morning routine to tap into the subconscious breakthroughs and connections experienced while he was sleeping.

Unlike 80 percent of people between the ages of 18-44 who check their smartphones within 15 minutes of waking up, Waitzkin goes to a quiet place, does some meditation and grabs his journal.

In his journal, he thought-dumps for several minutes. Thus, rather than focusing on input like most people who check their notifications, Waitzkin’s focus is on output. This is how he taps into his higher realms of clarity, learning, and creativity–what he calls, “crystallized intelligence.”

If you’re not an experienced journal writer, the idea of “thought-dumping” may be hard to implement. In my experience, it’s good to loosely direct your thought-dumping toward your goals.

Consider the “requests” you made of your subconscious just before going to bed. You asked yourself loads of questions. You thought about and wrote down the things you’re trying to accomplish.

Now, first thing in the morning, when your creative brain is most attuned, after its subconscious workout while you slept, start writing down whatever comes to mind about those things.

I often get ideas for articles I’m going to write while doing these thought-dumps. I get ideas about how I can be a better husband and father to my three foster children. I get clarity about the goals I believe I should be pursuing. I get insights about people I need to connect with, or how I can improve my current relationships.

So whether you’re drinking water or gurgling Ribena down your throat just before bed in hopes that the next morning will find solutions to your problems, remember the words of James Allen, “A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances.”

I guess it’s right for me to slot in  the words in Christian scriptures that say, “Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God”.

*This is not an advert or a recommendation.