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When 'Thinking' Hurts Your Brain - Get Creative!



New Member
Creative Thinking

How many times have you caught yourself saying that there could be no solution to a problem – and that all thoughts on the problem simply lead to a dead end?

How many times have you felt stumped knowing that the problem laying before you is one you think you should be able to solve ..... but cannot.

No leads. No Ideas. No options. No solutions.

Did it feel like you had exhausted all possible options and yet are still before the mountain – large, unconquerable, and impregnable?

When encountering problems, you may often feel like you're banging your head against the wall and the pressure of having to solve the problem may be overwhelming.

But rejoice! There is hope!

With some creative problem-solving techniques you may be able to look at your problem in a different light.

We've all heard the saying: that there is light at the end of the tunnel that leads to possible solutions, but often it is a train (yet another problem') heading in your direction.

Not always, though!

First of all, in the light of creative problem-solving, you must be open-minded to the fact that there may be more than just one solution to the problem. And, you must be open to the fact that there may be many solutions to problems you thought were unsolvable.

Now, with this optimistic mindset, we can try to be a little bit more creative in solving our problems.

# 1: maybe the reason we cannot solve our problems is that we have not really taken a hard look at what the problem is. Here, trying to understanding the problem and having a concrete understanding of its workings is integral to solving the problem.

If you know how it works, what the problem is, then you have a better start point towards solving the problem.

Not trying to make the simple statement of what problem is. Try to identify the participating entities and what their relationships with one another are.

Take note of the things you stand to gain and stand to lose from the current problem. Now you have a simple statement of what the problem is.

# 2: try to take note of all of the constraints and assumptions you have in respect of the problem.

Sometimes it is these assumptions that obstruct our view of possible solutions. You have to identify which assumptions are valid, in which assumptions need to be addressed.

# 3: try to solve the problem by parts. Solve it going from general view towards the more detailed parts of the problem. This is called the top-down approach. Write down the question, and then come up with a one-sentence solution to that from them.

The solution should be a general statement of what will solve the problem. From here you can develop the solution further, and increase its complexity little by little.

# 4: although it helps to have critical thinking aboard as you solve a problem, you must also keep a creative, analytical voice at the back of your head. When someone comes up with a prospective solution, tried to think how you could make that solution work.

Try to be creative. At the same time, look for chinks in the armour of that solution.

# 5: it pays to remember that there may be more than just one solution being developed at one time. Try to keep track of all the solutions and their developments. Remember, there may be more than just one solution to the problem.

# 6: remember that old adage," two heads are better than one." That one is truer than it sounds. Always be open to new ideas. You can only benefit from listening to all the ideas each person has.

This is especially true when the person you're talking to has had experience solving problems similar to yours.

You don't have to be a gung-ho, solo hero to solve the problem. If you can organize collective thought on the subject, it would be much better.

# 7: be patient. As long as you persevere, there is always a chance that a solution will present itself. Remember that no one was able to create an invention the first time around.

Creative thinking exercises (often referred to as: Mind Mapping) can also help you in your quest be a more creative problems solver.

Here is one example.

Take a piece of blank paper and write the problem down and other any word that comes to mind at the center. Now look at those words then write the first two words that come to your mind.

This can go on until you can build a tree of related words. This helps you build analogical skills, and fortify your creative processes.

So, next time you see a problem you think you can not solve, think again. The solution might just be staring you right in the face. All it takes is just a little creative thinking, some planning, and a whole lot of work.


Quote for the day:

"If you think you can ....or you think you can't.....then you're probably right!"


New Member
Many times it can be hard to see a solution because you/we keep looking at the problem from the same angle, and mostly it tends to be as the business provider. So turn it on its head and look at the same problem for the issue of the customer, or a supplier, or an employee, or a competitor.

My question though, is why does creative thinking require so many calories? I find that days I am thinking through problems, looking for answers, designing new systems etc, that vast amount of calories get consumed :)
Gordon N

Gordon N

New Member
John, yet another incredible post - surely you must have a book coming out soon!? ;)