A small business person came to me the other day with a problem. He is an intelligent person. He’s well educated. So he outlined his problem verbally with all the many facets to it. When he had finished I could see a pattern emerging. I’m just an ordinary person with no special powers although I wished I did have them. This person was doing something intelligent. He was talking out his problem and at the same time gaining greater clarity.
I gave him a mental framework in which to view his problem. It’s a basic, fundamental framework that I came across years ago. It gave him a new way of looking at his problem and possible solutions. I did not give him a simple, pat solution because his problem was complex and it was probably better to go do more homework. He could also try out some different approaches almost like an experiment to first test the waters rather than taking one direction.
Life’s like that. We often don’t have ready-made answers or solutions to our problems. Sometimes we find ourselves in a mental block. Think back on your life and consider that times when you had a mental block. You may have wasted days, weeks, months and even years. We get stuck in dead ends, cul de sacs in life and in business.
How do we get out of our mental blocks?
One way could be to talk to someone. Another could happen serendipitously when we read a book whether fiction or non-fiction and suddenly see things, our life, from a different perspective. We may even attend a workshop or we could seek out specific information or people who could help us. Others may find that a walk in the wilderness could provide a new way of looking at where they are going.
The creativity and innovation experts try to make it seem easy to unblock your mental pathways. But from experience we know that it can be difficult. It can be a struggle of unsatisfying attempts that led us nowhere. Our lives seem smaller. Our energy drops. Before we know it we are unhappy, disengaged and disillusioned.
When we break free from our mental shackles, find new ways of viewing our problems, our lives, our business, then we wonder what it was all about. Why did we take so long to figure things out? How stupid could we have been? Why didn’t we think of a new way, a new approach, a new concept, a new solution sooner? Instead of wrapping ourselves on the knuckles, we can be grateful that we were able to achieve a personal breakthrough in finding new opportunities to enrich our life.