Skip to main content

The Quirky Way to Solving Problems

Among all the creatures on our planet only we humans have the remarkable ability to solve (and also create) various problems. But, many a time, we cannot resolve problems and issues that trouble us no matter how hard we try to using conventional methods. And those conventional methods we normally use are to either constantly brood over it, or debate it to eternity, or collect truckloads of data in the hope that it will help us arrive at a solution. However, in spite of such intense efforts, the solutions will often evade us. To understand why one should note that problem solving is a mysterious science that sometimes goes beyond conventional thinking, objective analysis, left brain rationality, etc. In order to solve many pressing problems that haunt us one should occasionally ignore the conventional methods and instead enter the world of unconventional thinking. Many a time, unconventional methods can easily solve problems that conventional methods cannot. Given below are a few such methods that one can try when struck with a nagging problem.
Let it go:  We often believe a solution will appear if we keep attacking a problem relentlessly. Unfortunately, that is not the right way as solving many problems is similar to chasing a beautiful butterfly. The harder you try to catch it the farther it flies away. But, surprisingly, if you stand still that butterfly will start flying very close to you or may even sit on your shoulder. In a similar way as a popular quote tells, ‘If you want something very badly, first set it free,’ you may have to first let go of a nagging problem for some time. Forcefully eject it from your mind and give it some time to clear the mental fog. When you do that suddenly you can discover new ways and obvious solutions dropping in that can seem vastly superior to your previous thoughts. This is the paradox of letting go where the solution pops up only when you let go and give up instead of clinging on desperately.
Sleep over it: Each one of use is a mysterious and magnificent machine. Behind our normal physical existence there lies a vast untapped world that we are not fully aware. There are countless incredible skills and powers that we have, but never know or don’t know how it works. Even today one never knows why solutions evade us when we are vigorously trying to solve, but pop in mysteriously when we least expect it or when we are asleep. In many cases, it’s intuition and dreams that give us an answer to a problem that is impossible to get when we are awake. For example, one of the most revolutionary findings in organic chemistry was the discovery of the structure of benzene molecule. The scientist, Friedrich Kekule worked for years to discover its atomic structure without success. But one night, he dreamt of many snakes circling together and forming a ring of six snakes chasing each others tails. When he awoke he got the answer, which was the shape hexagon as the elusive structure of the benzene ring.
Wait for the destined hour: Sometimes you have to think philosophically. Many a time you may think, ‘Why was I racking my brain when the solution was so simple, or why couldn’t I think of it before?’ But, as Ovid, a Roman poet once said, ‘Everything comes gradually at its appointed hour.’ Similarly, many solutions arrive only at the appointed hour and not before, no matter how hard you try.
Finally, we can conclude this chapter with a great quote from Albert Einstein who said, ‘The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you, and you don’t know how or why.’


Popular posts from this blog

How to Ask Beautiful Questions

Sometime back I was watching a TV program on a business channel where a bunch of reputed CEOs, CFOs, COOs, etc., were the judges for a young business entrepreneur program. Each young participant was expected to present a business case for the winning entry. However, the program was going nowhere as the judges weren’t allowing any participant to complete their presentation or go beyond a couple of sentences, and would constantly bombard them with questions after questions. The judges were even firing questions at each other, and answering every question with another question. Every young participant, half their age, were being ripped to pieces with their incessant and often cynical questions. Finally, one of the participants was awarded a ceramic pot of un-definable shape with something inscribed on it, while the others walked out dazed and gasping for breath.  Mercifully, the program ended soon. What the above incident teaches you is the world today is full …

Workaholics are Not Role Models

A CEO of a reputed organization once said he has been working more than 90 to 100 hours a week for many years, and jokingly adds he should have done more. And in another reputed car manufacturing company dozens of employees and managers get cash rewards and appreciation certificates for not taking a single day leave during the last two or three years. In yet another case, a jet-set CEO was proudly patting his own back stating that he loves his work so much that he often does not see his family or kids for several weeks, and cannot remember when he took a couple of days leave or a vacation. Nowadays, the number of such morons is increasing at an exponential rate. And you can very easily spot such people as they will be constantly talking on their mobiles, checking their handheld devices for text messages or always connected to their office via their laptops for never-ending emails and so on. Such people have their hands and minds loaded with projects, countless…

History - Telescopes to the Future

Nowadays, if you read interviews of any top business people in any news media you will invariably see a question that asks which book they have recently read or are currently reading. And their obvious answers will be the names of some newfangled management book like why the moon is still round while the earth is going flat, or the fifteenth leadership habit of a maverick, or some new cutting-edge book about managing people, or even some fancy novel. But you will never hear any businessman say they are reading an ordinary book like a medieval or ancient history textbook. Now, you may argue how a boring textbook on history help a businessperson can run his or her business. Besides, who has the time to read history, and who cares if some Attila the Hun plundered a village in the fourth century or some king was beheaded by his courtiers? And why bother with what has been over and forgotten, and what is the justification to study something that is unconnected wi…