February 16, 2007

Go take a hot shower

Some of your biggest business breakthroughs happen when you are in the shower. I've experienced this and I know you have too. Just a few moments ago, I had a big breakthrough in the shower today. A little solution to a little problem related to a HUGE project in my life. Why? It's chemicals.

When you shower, your body produces chemicals such as DHEA, a powerful enzyme that boosts your ability to leverage your brain's capacity. I've visited a tech R&D lab that had showers as part of the bathrooms just because of this phenom.

If you work at home like I do (where your best friend at work is the UPS guy), then this is pretty easy. Take your shower at a time when you have loaded up your head with today's problems to solve. We get dozens of those a day. If you shower first thing, do your daily do list and circle the ones that require problem and solution thinking. When you are in the shower, say the headlines. Hear the soft echo. Don't say or think anything for a minute or so. This exercise is a great way to get your brain to start making connections, leveraging and utilizing this natural chemical reaction to boost your innovative powers.

By the way, I studied this concept when I was writing The Likeability Factor. When I interviewed Heartmath, I realized that the mood state at work in general was linked to performance and smart thinking. When the boss makes you feel bad, you have a cortisol boost and lose brain leverage capacity. When the environment inspires you, you produce DHEA (just like as in a shower) and you gain access to more of your brainpower.

So again, I challenge you to either take a shower for yourself or be the hot shower of good feelings for your people. If you contribute to an unlikeable environment, you'll never produce good business. Dr. Daniel Goleman was right in his leadership must-read Primal Leadership: Good leaders own the mood state and make it good.

Read this excerpt from The Likeability Factor that discusses this concept.


Posted at 4:35 PM in Business Effectiveness , Leadership  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (0)



Do you have any research references for shower production of DHEA, Tim? I have read recently that DHEA is only produced during sleep, but heard you mention this during your talk at the Maximum Impact conference. I'd love to check out some additional research on this.



Awesome! I always wondered why I come up with my best stuff while in the shower.

I've been known to shower up to 4 times in a day just to clear my head, and get motivated for my projects that I am always working on. And I always shower right before I have to go meet a client, and I try not to meet more than 1 client a day - helps me to focus on THEM.

You Rock Tim!


You know, it's always refreshing to have something you thought so 'weird' made not so weird...

I had no idea that there was an actual chemical process happening in the shower to bring about this influx of ideas and this problem solving experience.

Does the same work for a bath? I'm thinking that if so, I may have to spend more time in the bath with my laptop... Of course, I'll keep it away from the water...


For over 30 years I experienced several life threatening chronic illnesses. Through the Grace of God I was lead to several people and organizations that aided me in understanding, positively dealing with and transforming these illnesses. For the past few years I have devoted my life to sharing what I have learned with others. The two most impactful organizations I was lead to are The Institute of HeartMath (www.emotionalmastery.com) and Landmark Education (www.landmarkeducation.com).

The American Institute of Stress and The Centers for Disease Control have both reported that up to 90% of all illnesses are due to stress. I was lead to The Institute of HeartMath in 1997 and discovered that all of my illnesses were due to stress I had been experiencing in my life. Through learning and practicing HeartMath’s tools and technologies, I am able to prevent, manage and reverse the effects of stress, in-the-moment, achieve better health, more energy, improved mental and emotional clarity, and improved performance and relationships. HeartMath’s tools and technologies are scientifically substantiated; they literally saved my life.

Landmark Education provided me with the knowledge and tools to identify and put in my past, barriers that were stopping me from living a powerful life and a life I love. Through this Education, I have reached an unshakeable Faith.


Sounds like a good theory...goes along with my "Mercury is retrograde that's why I can't get anybody on the phone!" belief and the "Ahhhh - the planets realigned last night and everything's just peachy today" explanation for why things worked that day.

Whatever makes it happen for you -any port in a storm!


The shower is such a therapeutic place for me. Actually, water in general seems to be that way. Being by the ocean, floating in a still pool, relaxing in a hot tub... perhaps it is our weightlessness, or the cleansing of everything we've managed to pick up along the way, or the sound of something which drowns out the world around us.... water is such a strong part of our exsistance and when we are surrounded by it, there is no want or starvation, only a sense of peace (unless, of course, you find yourself in the middle of a hurricane or on a deserted island in the ocean... then it's probably not so fun) But to be able to control the water... to be able to make it pleasing to us.... is such a therapeutic thing. *sigh* I love water.


I'll often retreat to the shower (because I find it relaxing, yes) but also because I think it's mentally stimulating. Interesting to know that the effect flows naturally from increased brain levels of DHEA.

Nice food for thought (...in the shower)


That's awesome! So true! We should have business meetings in the shower...oh wait...nevermind. :)

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