Last year, I read a book by John Bargh. It was called Before You Know It: The Unconscious Reasons We Do What We Do. I was especially interested in what Bargh wrote about the problem solving abilities of the subconscious mind. When you step away from a problem you are working on and think about something else, the subconscious mind continues to work on a solution.
This week my conscious mind worked really hard trying to solve a problem at work. I had found an error in the income tax accrual related to an item in prior year financial statements. The tax accountant said that tax returns would have to be amended and perhaps financial statements would have to be restated. There would be penalties and interest. I had been proud of myself for finding and correcting an error, but by doing so, I had opened a can of worms.
I was puzzled about what to do. How would we explain this mistake to the client? I spoke to the woman who prepared the prior year reports and I dug around to find documentation supporting the prior year numbers, then I went home for the night.
Thanks to my subconscious mind, I realized I needed to check the work of the CPA firm. They make mistakes too. What I found was good news. The tax return was accurate and doesn’t have to be amended. There won’t be penalties and interest.
A new day brings a rested conscious mind and a fresh problem-solving perspective. Thank you subconscious for working while I sleep.