One night last week I was awake worrying about a decision.

I had two options: I could go this way or that.

This way would result in either a huge success or financial ruin.

And so would the other.

I’d been thinking about this problem for months.

Decision time was looming – hence the sleepless night.

I was busy running through all the options, the what if’s, adding up numbers and subtracting them and trying to work out what would need to happen this week, the next, the next and the next, all the way to the end of (I think) 2023 or so so that I could make the right decision today.

(You might think I should know better. I thought I should know better. But there you go, we’re all human).

Then suddenly, after a couple of hours of this, for no reason at all into my head popped this random thought.

“If you keep dipping a plate in dirty washing up water, it’s never going to come out clean.”

“WTF?” I thought and promptly fell into a deep sleep.

When I considered it the next morning I realised three things:

  1. I realised what the thought had meant. It meant that if you have a dirty murky mind full of cloudy thinking, ANYTHING you take out of it to look at is is never going to be clean. Or clear. So what’s the point in dipping stuff in there and then taking it out and examining it?
  2. I didn’t have to understand my insight intellectually for it to have an instant effect.
  3. And I was reminded of the fact that wisdom is 100% reliable (not once did this thought show up in the 18 months I’ve been pondering on this problem, but only the night before the deadline) and 98% unpredictable. I thought any insight would come in the form of ‘here’s the answer – do this!’, but no. It came in the form of a weird statement – completely unexpected in its form.

I would tell you what the problem was, only I now have no idea what it was that seemed so important.

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