Solving problems is an exercise in creativity. The point is not to create a life with no problems, but rather to become a better and better problem solver. As we leave the Industrial Age and move into the Information Age there is a need to develop different skills.
In this new age, the two most important skills become making things up, and figuring things out. In the past, many people did much the same jobs, as in the factories on the assembly line. In the future, specialization is becoming more and more prevalent; and in the office, everyone is doing something different. We can no longer depend on the same old answers because we are creating brand new problems. The key to the future of our civilization involves creativity and problem solving.
How we experience our problems is a more significant factor in our happiness than are the specific problems that we experience. Instead of complaining and worrying, we can learn to see our problems as creative opportunities that give us the chance to grow and improve. We can take on our problems as puzzles to be solved, or as challenges to be overcome.
When we get into stressful Beta States, the filter (the reticular activating system) closes down, denying us access to higher intelligence, memory and creativity. By utilizing the Alpha State you get in touch with your problem solving capabilities.
With the filter open, you can use your imagination to go beyond what you know into all that could be. Often it is difficult to solve our problems because we can't clearly see the problem for what it truly is. This is the “you can't see the forest for the trees” syndrome. We get caught up in the emotions and sometimes seem to blow the problem out of all proportion. Sometimes it serves to take an alternate perception and see the problem in a different way. Step outside the problem and change your perception, and the problem seems to change as well.
You could imagine that the problem belongs to someone else. If this were true, what kind of advice would you give him? What would you say that his first step could be? How would you help to motivate him and get him going? What resources would you suggest that he utilize? How could you help him be confident of his process and his ultimate success? You could pretend that the problem is already solved. Think backwards from the solution to the first step. Remember how you did it. Where were you when you figured it out.
Sometimes we can solve a problem simply by realizing that it is not really a problem at all. Many problems can be seen in a positive light as creative opportunities. For every problem there are solutions. Some are better than others. One of the most limiting forms of thinking is to assume that there is only one right answer to your problem. This rigid and restrictive thinking process comes from school. One right answer and anything else is wrong seriously inhibits creativity.
We must break out of that mold in order to be truly effective problem solvers. If you relax your mind and use your imagination and your creativity you will find unlimited resources at your disposal. Almost all of the great problems that have ever been solved have had their solutions begin in some woman's or some man's daydream. It is the daydream-like alpha state where most great ideas are born. One little clue or creative idea is all that it takes to begin solving the most perplexing problems. Alpha is a great tool to get in touch with your memory and creativity, to enhance your capacity for problem solving.
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Focus brings to bear the power of the conscious mind, and Passion brings to bear the power of the subconscious mind.
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