7 Ways to Use Your Creativity to Solve Your Problems

Problems suck! Unfortunately, they’re not going away anytime soon. Hoping that they’ll go away or wishing they never happened will accomplish nothing – other than potentially making them worse.

In order to solve your problems you must tap your creativity. Think about it: If you already knew the solution to your problem you would apply it and no longer have the problem! By definition therefore, you have to think of new ideas to solve the things that are troubling you.

The next time you try to solve a problem, try applying any (or all) of these approaches:

1) Be Obvious

The answer may be staring you in the face. If you are avoiding the obvious solution, ask yourself, “why?” If that reason isn’t valid, then you have your answer. Sometimes the easiest solution is the one right in front of us.

2) Be Contrarian

Being contrarian means considering the opposite of what conventional wisdom says. If the advice is to go left, think about going right. Don’t work more, work less. Note: This doesn’t mean you should always DO the contrarian thing; just thinking about it can be enough to get your creative juices flowing.

3) Start With the First Step

You can get so caught up in the long term goal that you lose sight of where you are starting. Trying to “sit and think” of a fully formed solution can lead to overwhelm and frustration. But just because an idea is not fully formed does not mean that it does not have some validity. Sometimes taking the first step is enough.

4) Think Bigger

If you can’t think of an immediate solution, try looking at the big picture. If you want to make $10,000 this month and can’t figure out how, think bigger – why do you want to make $10,000? Maybe because you want to earn six figures in a year. So skip the “$10K in a month” number and think about ways to earn six figures in a year. Sometimes you can skip a problem entirely by thinking of the bigger picture.

5) Think Smaller

The opposite of thinking bigger. Try breaking down the problem into smaller chunks. Continuing with the $10K example, instead of trying to earn $10,000 this month, why not brainstorm some ways of earning $333 per day? Even if you can’t come up with any, it gets the mind working in a new way.

6) Take a Break – A REAL One

Winners never quit and quitters never win, but quitting for a bit (otherwise known as “taking a break”) can do wonders for you. When you stop obsessing about your problem you let your subconscious work on it. To make this work you have to do two things. 1) You can’t just switch your obsession to another problem. You must actually give your mind a break to let it recharge. Get away from the problem, even if for only five minutes. 2) You must not “dwell.” Taking a walk to get away from work is great but useless if you continue to mull over the problem. You have to really let it go.

7) Move

Exercise, walk, run, stretch, whatever. Whether it’s from blood flow, endorphins, or a change in focus, when you move around you enhance your creativity. I like to shoot baskets or take a walk. Find out what works for you and do it.

This is just a handful of some of the many different ways you can leverage your creativity for problem solving. Start with the ones above, and then come up with your own. Apply them regularly, and watch yourself create new and exciting solutions faster than ever!

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