What do you think about when you shower…?

I cancel my snooze and walk zombie-like to my bathroom.

Stumbling with blurry vision, I turn the knob in the shower and wait for the water to heat up.

As I stand waiting, I walk over to the sink and stuff my contact lenses awkwardly in my puffy eyes.

With my vision restored, I open Spotify, put “daily mix 1” on a shuffle, and step in.

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while because this seemingly insignificant morning routine has changed the course of my life many a times. For whatever reason, when I stand under the shower head, my mind relaxes… And even deliberate effort to concentrate on a topic becomes impossible. It’s as if the warm water simmers my thoughts, causing them to manifest itself as steam in the bathroom.

For me, someone with a bit of a neurodivergent brain, this phenomenon—of both focus yet relaxation—has become one of my greatest tools. I realized that it was here, in the shower, where my mind could genuinely relax and focus on one thing—and one thing only: “what’s top of mind right now?”

And by paying attention to them, it’s changed my life.

Time and Passion (obsession)

I’m a pretty obsessive individual. From a young age, I obsessed over competition, usually over sports or video games—eventually culminating to reaching the apex of the most popular video game in the world during high school. Indeed, during high school, I would replay the games I played in my head during my showers, analyzing my every mistake.

While I competed furiously with video games, I also developed an obsession over businesses, founders, and the innovative nature of startups. Naturally, another north star developed (the one I have now): founding a successful, lasting, and impactful company. Because of this, a key obsession became work; work—as a means to grow into a founder role. To this end, I’ve tried to live my life according to a simple, greedy algorithm: to make every action I take in service of that north star.

Even so, I often get lost throughout the day-to-day. Because of my obsessive nature, I often work very long hours (and weekends). Then, the rest of my time usually is filled with things like lifting, basketball, managing relationships, and (injudiciously) doom-scrolling on Instagram. With so much vying for my attention, really looking back and reflecting has proven to be quite difficult.

Without tools to keep me in check, I’ve experienced first-hand how days begin to blend into weeks, weeks into months, months into quarters. Even if I’m progressing, I may fail to keep the greater mission at the forefront.

That’s where the shower proxy comes in. By paying attention what runs through my head in the shower, I’ve been able to effectively gauge where my obsessions and passions lie.

For example, say my current obsession is poker. If, for the first time in a month, there are 3 shower sessions without me thinking about poker—then it’s time to take a step back and reflect: “what’s up right now?”

The Wandering Mind

By employing this tool, I’ve been able to change course many a times in my life. From my career, hobbies, and relationships—it’s been an incredible tool that can help identify my own state and help adjust accordingly.

Life is too short to live day-to-day… so I let my mind wander in the shower. After I’m done, with the signals fresh in my mind, I can ask myself the questions that wouldn’t materialize naturally throughout the day.

I turn the knob and the gentle down rush subsides.

With a deep exhale, I open the curtains and step outside.

The bathroom is now clouded with steam, but my own brain is freed from its own fog.

I walk out and begin my reflection…

What did I think about during my shower…?