Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Got a problem? Just borrow some brains!

Just imagine how smart we would be if we followed the advice we give others?

Have you ever been stuck for a solution to your problem?   Well, of course we all get stuck at times.   However, have you ever considered the possibility that you may be just tying too hard?   Procrastination gets a bad rap and deservedly so, but when you are stuck try putting the problem out of sight for as long as you can manage without causing a problem. 

Something magical happens when you pack away the problem and then come back to it with fresh eyes days, weeks or even months later.  I know that when I write sometimes I will think to myself...what I've written isn't worth the paper it's written on.   Then I will come back to it days or weeks later and have some great ideas to improve it.   Fresh eyes!

Don't like your problem then trade it in for someone else's problem.

Researchers found that we are more creative problem solvers when we have distance ourselves from the problem.   A friend has a problem and you have the answer, this happens frequently.  Sometimes we are just too close to the problem.

So imagine if you said to a friend or co-worker, let's trade problems for the day.  I'll play with yours and you can play with mine.  It's a lot less stressful to work on someone else's problem then on your own.   Your fresh eyes might find the solution surprising quick. 

I just did a job for Westjet where I submitted a lot of  creative ideas to improve customer relations.   I am no airline expert and yet I could see opportunities that they couldn't.   Why is that?   Because I am an expert at one thing in the airline industry...myself as a customer.   I am happy to say that they have already implemented my ideas. 

What about your imaginary friend?

I created Guru Eduardo initially as a cartoon character.   It amused me and became an excellent way to flex my creative muscle.   But something unexpected happened from the creation of my alter ego?  When I pretended to be Guru Eduardo my writing got more creative.   My thinking  wasn't restricted by who I normally think I am.  Well, truthfully I've been doing this for so long now that I'm not sure where the Guru stops and Ed starts anymore.   It's become who I am now and who I am now is a lot more creative than who I was.   Ahhh.....I'm starting to confuse myself...time for a drink!

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