I often quote stuff from The Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman. It didn't get raving reviews but the score was very interesting, Nick Nolte's play was convincing IMHO and it delivers great life lessons. I'm particularly fond of this one:
"Take out the trash Dan."
"No, YOU take out the trash."
"The trash is in your mind Dan."
In some half esoteric, half scientific way, I see the human brain acting both as an antenna and a bracket of RAM memory. You can download "available" ideas from the idea sphere, store them and recall them during the creative process, given that you are able to store the ideas and not bump them out with ordinary life concerns.
In this comparison, the "trash" are unpaid bills, unresolved arguments with your spouse or what's for dinner. The trash is made up of such ideas and their emotional counterparts. Mental things you cannot solve in the present moment, but to which you give mental space, energy and power.
No one can put out their best work if the mind is occupied by such things.
For the antenna to locate great ideas, it needs a pool of free mental space. How do you create such space, you ask?
Meditation. Mindfulness. Relaxation.
Call it what you want.
There are several names for the practice of paying no mind to things which state cannot be altered in the present moment.
Focus less energy daily to entertaining stuff from the past and future and you shall find your best ideas.
That's a promise.
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You don’t need anything. You can achieve incredible mixes on your white iPhone earbuds for all I care, given that you understand their frequency response (what they sound like at each crucial frequency bands). So my short answer to the question in the title is: headphones. Plain and simple. Oh… and here are 5 reasons why.