I was talking about my work on social media this morning and mentioned how I had lost my enthusiasm for what I do, due to finding it very difficult to describe the way I work with people.
As with all things, the moment you put a problem into words a solution jumps out and smacks you in the face. To describe the way I work with people is difficult, to write about aspects of my work isn’t, and that’s the best indicator of a creative problem solver there is. Use the creative writing to explain!
We all know that problems can haunt you, taking over your mind, dominating your thoughts, ruining your sleep. Your mind goes around like a rat in a trap, finding ways out and then discarding them as worse than useless. One of the best ways to solve a problem is to simplify it. But there’s another good way that goes hand-in-hand with simplicity. That is…
Don’t attack the problem
In fact, don’t think about it. Find left field and sneak up on it unawares.
The more you think the more confused you become, and the more complex the problem grows. Whereas if you approach it in a different way, bypassing all that angst and complication, using a creative approach, then life becomes easier.
You can solve a problem in many ways, but if there’s an area of creativity that appeals to you, then you can utilise that interest to sneak up on an issue and solve it in an entirely different way. For example:
- Poetry: Many poets will tell you that they write to understand themselves, if you are a poet you can also write a poem about a problem and see what lands up on the page.
- Writers: If you’re a creative writer you could create a character, a person you feel could solve this problem, and then write a short story about how they do it. Set your mind free, explore the problem for several different angles using different characters, and see where your plot takes you.
- Artists: You could do a sketch of the solution, or several sketches, you could do a timeline of the issue from the first sketch to the next step, to the outcome.
The point is to free your mind to explore the issue in a different, unexpected way. It isn’t actually a rule that problems can only be solved by thought.
So you’re not creative?
You may prefer a mind map, write the word problem in the centre of the page. At the next level add in the components of the problem. Work out from each component until you have a clear picture of the problem, then on the last level, work out the solution of each component. You should come down then to an answer. Focusing on creating a mind map and what you put into it, is focusing on the problem, but in a more analytical way that needs to be calmer and carefully thought out.
You can also use coloured pencils to make the mind map, or different font colours if you’re a techie. All colours have meanings, basically:
- Blue – calm/communication/water and flow
- Red – strength/grounding/anger/fire in the belly!
- Pink – love (not just for others or a partner, love of life)
- Orange – creativity/fun/expression
- Yellow – sunlight/joy/relaxation
- Green – nature/environment/peace
- Purple/violet – thought and spiritual intent
- Brown – stability
You don’t need to remember this list though, it’s always what colours and shades of colours mean to you. This is your mind map and it has to speak to you.
Randomly choose the right colour for whichever part of the problem you’re currently exploring, and when you’ve finished that should give you a good idea of how the problem is affecting you life.
A simple example would be that if you’ve chosen to write about money in red, you may be angry and frustrated about money. That’s obvious. But you can use the mind map to pull out why, and you may change colours as you work through it, if you suddenly choose blue, that could represent the solution as it’s a calm colour.
Brick wall avoidance
In truth there are so many ways you can approach this, and I’ve just tried to throw a few different ideas your way. However, the most important habit to break is to think that thinking is the way to solve everything. There are more brain cells in your heart than your head (you can look that up), so the way you’re feeling about the problem is often far more important that anything your mind is doing.
I work very differently, in my groups we solve problems without talking about them, we move forward in life without jumping through any hoops, a bit of visualisation does come into it. In other words we don’t focus on what we don’t want and we don’t focus on what we do want, we simply work past the barrier of the issue, focus on feeling amazing, and then wait to see what happens.
I didn’t once think about working on my vertigo during visualisation, yet my vertigo has gone. Don’t ask me how or why, I don’t care, it’s gone. I didn’t realise until I was standing high up in a building looking down into the lobby, feeling completely relaxed. It just wasn’t there.
To avoid the whole banging your head on a brick wall until way after you should have stopped, forget linear thinking and linear living. There’s an energy out there that can be accessed by all which is far better than classical in the box human energy and thinking. You have to experience it and feel it to understand it, but when you do, everything changes.
And now you know why I find it so hard as a spiritual coach and mentor to describe what I do, tell me what’s bothering you and I may ask you to tell me what your favourite kitchen utensil is, where you had your last holiday, your favourite animal and type of hat. Or something else entirely.
It’s weird, it’s creative, it works, and you can have a great deal of fun putting things right by not dealing with them at all. Naturally you will also be remembering that you are not dealing with them in order to solve them. You’re not allowing them to get in the way of the solution.
To your happiness and sanity
Creativity rocks, complication sucks!