The heartful innovator – part 2


In his previous article, RAVI VENKATESAN introduced the concept of changing the “observer” or the innovator, in order to get exponential shifts in results. He also outlined 4 key aspects of the “inner state” that we want to fine-tune. In this article, he explores the role of the intellect and how it plays into innovation.


Let’s take an example of a specific innovation: Portraying 3-dimensional imagery in 2-dimensional media. This is what makes amazing visual feasts like the Avengers movies or Star Wars come alive. If we trace the origins of this innovation, it leads us to the discovery and mastery of what is called “linear perspective” by a famous architect of the Renaissance period, Filippo Brunelleschi. He systematically studied exactly how and why objects, buildings, and landscapes change and lines appear to change shape when seen from a distance or from different angles. He then used this to develop a system of depicting them in paintings with striking similarity. The application of the intellect is obvious in this example. What is more interesting is how he came upon this idea to begin with. He seems to have not only applied his intellect in an intelligent manner, but also intuitively understood the impact his hypothesis could have.

Let’s take some other examples. Archimedes observed the level of water in a tub rising as he got in, and converted this observation to experiments that became the foundations of many innovations, like the Archimedes screw, still used for pumping liquids. Newton’s innovation of using reflecting mirrors rather than refracting lenses led to smaller telescopes and clearer images. Marie Curie’s innovation in using mobile X-ray machines during World War I saved many lives.

In all of these cases, there was a shift in the intellect, somehow leading it to a refined or developed state. There is no doubt that these were intelligent women and men, but what drove them to be able to “sense” something that others could not? What led to that “eureka” or “aha” moment for them? In some cases, many of these moments?

If we study some of their habits, a few clues emerge. Einstein would sleep for 10 hours a day (1.5 times the average person today). Newton would isolate himself in retreats, including one where he discovered gravity.

Somehow, allowing a state of deep relaxation to set in seems to allow the intellect to shift into intelligence, and open to become intuition. In modern times, many companies have started meditation programs to allow employees to combat stress and relax. An interesting side effect is that the companies like Google, Microsoft, Salesforce etc., which have such programs, seem to also be some of the most innovative companies. Is this a coincidence, or is there more to it?

Allowing a state of deep relaxation to set in seems
to allow the intellect to shift into intelligence,
and open to become intuition.

The proof of the pudding is always in the eating. So, let’s try this experiment. Over the next few days, reserve five to ten minutes every evening to simply relax. You can use a routine like the Heartfulness Relaxation, available on the website to guide you through this. Recall and park any problems you have prior to starting this. At the end of the relaxation see if any new, innovative ideas emerge. You will start developing the habit of refining your intellect and allowing intuition to emerge more effortlessly.

The big prize in refining the intellect is beyond intuition. It is “wisdom,” which allows not just clever innovations to emerge, but innovations that are beneficial to humanity. This state comes through the repeated practice of refining the intellect through meditative practices like Heartfulness. The transformation of the intellect into wisdom is one of the natural results of such a practice. Intelligence and intuition are shifts that happen along the way.

In subsequent articles we’ll explore shifts in other key aspects of our inner state that contribute to innovation.




Ravi Venkatesan

About Ravi Venkatesan

Ravi lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and is currently Chief Technology Officer at USAT. He is also a regular public speaker and public speaking coach. He has been a Heartfulness meditator for over 20 years and is passionate about applying meditation lessons to improve workplace relationships and productivity.

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  1. Nice

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