desire to know something; feel curious.
WHERE DO SOLUTIONS COME FROM?
Whether it’s finding the right words to fire someone, navigating a complex business situation or how to have a difficult conversation with your teenage daughter- we are faced with an endless variety of challenges, problems and constraints.
The good news is, the human mind is perfectly capable of navigating them without all the drama and stress we are used to.
We have falsely assumed stress, distress and emotional charge are markers of a mind hard at work solving important problems. Those are symptoms of hard work, but not of results or efficiency.
Frantic is probably the least efficient use of your mind-like running hard on a treadmill but not getting anywhere.
The truth is, your mind is designed to function optimally when it is alert but restful.
This is the state young children are in when they absorb incredible amounts of information, learn multiple languages, learn walking and running all in the same 2 year period!
Alertness, curiosity and a light heart are hallmarks of this state.
EFFORT MINUS EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE = SUCCESS WITHOUT STRESS
PROBLEM SOLVING & HOUSE ELVES
Yes there are answers to what you are wondering about, what you are facing in your business and what you want to resolve in your life; and yes, the solution is probably going to come from somewhere in your mind.
But the common approach of thinking till your brain hurts, of tying your brain in a knot through over analysis, is not the most efficient use of a mind that literally has capabilities beyond your wildest imagination.
Insights and breakthroughs come when you have mental space.
Like a name you can’t remember that pops into your head when you’re in the shower or falling asleep at night.
That’s a built in quality of your mind- the capacity to solve problems under the surface.
If you eat up half the bandwidth of this mental capacity with repetitions of the same problem facts, analysis and worrying you’re just slowing down the process through which your mind arrives at solutions.
It’s like you have Dobby the House Elf in your head-built in, for free, never takes a day off, ready to do everything you need.
Your job is to recognize that and not get in the way.
THE ART OF WONDERING
Let me introduce you to a way of using your mind that you’re probably familiar with but have dismissed as frivolous or irrelevant.
Newsflash: Nothing in the design of a human being is meaningless or frivolous. There is no capacity you have that is not designed to fulfil a very specific purpose.
So, what’s a more helpful way of using your mind, one that is more in alignment with where solutions actually come from?
Good news: we all naturally already know how to do it.
Bad News: you’re going to have to find that state for yourself.
That said, here are some pointers:
In areas of your life that seem easy to you, you are already doing this.
Whether it’s golf, negotiation or parenting, where life feels easy, you can be sure you are allowing your mind to function naturally, as it was designed to, without running manual interference.
There is no version of this where you are required to think harder to reach a solution.
When it gets so complicated you’re spending more time thinking about whether this is the right way to think or whether I meant something else or maybe you need another book from another expert to break it down for you-you’re looking in the wrong direction.
This kind of insight is a natural, emergent property of your mind not a manufactured one.
Things you understand look simple to you.
When you have a true insight or breakthrough, elegance and simplicity are hallmarks of the kind of solution that emerges. It quietens the noise, removes the clutter, evaporates the overwhelm.
You might be shocked how something so simple looked so difficult and complex to you just moments before.
It’s like fairy dust- except it’s in your mind and it really exists!