So here’s a thing –
So here’s a thing –
In my CHINKING keynote presentation I speak about the importance of CHange, INnovation and Kreativity. It’s one thing to talk about problem-solving using creative ideas but very few people know how to use creativity to solve everyday business and personal challenges.
People talk about doing things outside of the box. But what does that really mean? How do you, or can you, solve problems thinking outside of the box? Well, here are 3 out of box thinking techniques that I use.
1. Use The Big Book
Step 1 – Get yourself an English dictionary, or an Afrikaans one if you’re Afrikaans. You could even get an Afrikaans dictionary if you’re English and an English one if you’re Afrikaans but then I suppose you could get even get a French one. Just get a frikken dictionary! Now, while thinking about your problem or situation …
Step 2 – gauge how many pages are in the dictionary and pick a page number without opening the dictionary. Write the page number down on a piece of paper.
Step 3 – then choose a column left or right. Write that under the page number on your piece of paper.
Step 4 – now based on how many words are on an average page choose a number between one and about twelve. Write that number on your piece of paper. You should now have a page number, a column number and a word number. So open the dictionary to find the page, the column and the number and I guarantee you that the word you find is probably a solution if not the solution to your problem. In some cases it may take a bit of creative thinking about the word and how to use it to solve your dilemma but it really works. A cool slant on this is to use your Bible, Torah, Quran or any other spiritual book. Pick a random page with your eyes closed and point to a passage on that page.
Out of the box idea 2 – What would Jesus do?
I have used Jesus in this example purely because according to today’s newspaper, close to 80% of South Africans follow some form of Christian doctrine. You can change it to Muhammad or Krishna or Buddha or even the sun. It doesn’t have to be someone religious or spiritual; it can also be anyone who you respect and admire. It’s a great way to live your religion or spirituality.
Here’s what you do. Think about someone who you really respect, someone whom you admire or somebody you believe would absolutely know what to do in your situation. Then ask the question, what would he or she do?
What would Gandhi do? What would Steve Jobs do, or George Carlin, Warren Buffett or your father-in-law? If you think about it, whatever the situation you’re in or the answer you’re looking for, someone, living or dead, has probably been there, done that, and written or spoken about it. If you can’t call them up, or look up their wisdom or teaching, then just think about them and based on what you believe you know about them, write down what you think they would do and then do that, it’s really that easy.
Out of the box idea number 3 – Trust your gut!
No matter what situation you are in, what decision you have to make, your gut, (your immediate natural instinct), which generally feels like it comes from your stomach region, has probably already told you what decision to make. Listen to your gut.
How do you know it is your gut? It normally answers you or directs you in 3 words or less.
not for me uh-uh not my thing go for it
yes, feels good nope must have it leave it alone
don’t touch leave walk away frikken run
When a Gazelle who’s drinking at a watering hole hears a noise in the bush, its instinct tells it to run, and so it runs. People are different. Our instinct / our gut will feel and warn us of danger but our brain starts to override the perfect answer with logic and socially acceptable rationale. The heart also weighs in with the emotional cr4p to take or not to take a course of action. This normally ends badly.
Imagine if the Gazelle did this, and on hearing a noise said to its self, “it’s probably nothing I’m just being paranoid. Besides it’s probably just that lion I saw the other day. And I am not going to run away from stuff based on nature’s prejudice against big cats. They’re just misunderstood. I am sure a little kindness will go a long way …. what’s that pain I’m feeling in my butt?……”
Trust your gut. Listen to it. It will not only solve your problems and give you the best possible solutions quickly, but it could probably save your life or make you a millionaire.
There are dozens of creative ways to solve problems by using out of the box thinking. It’s July and we are in the middle of a tough year, do something creative, shake things up. It is only by doing and thinking differently that we will get different results.
Love, light & laughter