— August 31, 2017
It is true that when we find ourselves in a hole, the first thing we should do is stop digging. Sometimes that pull to keep digging or keep trying harder can overwhelm our sensibilities. Instead of being smarter, we simply add horsepower and determination. It’s a terrible idea.
When something’s not working despite your honest, forthright efforts, the last thing to do is try harder. Better to think. Think of a new way that can yield different results.
We’re not automatons. We can use our brains to bend reality to our desires. So, a bit of strategy to help you in problem solving and getting new kinds of outcomes.
- Find space. Sometimes, when you are too close to your problems, it’s hard to see. Get away.
- Get a pad and paper. Computers and smartphones can suck you into convergent thinking. When you need creativity, a simple piece of paper and pen can open you up. Doodle for a second. Then do a brain dump. Get your mind to unlock.
- Push ideas out. You need to entertain new pathways. Let whatever you think of come out and keep pushing yourself to come up with ideas, no matter how far fetched, that can be considered.
- Try something new. Take a look at what came out of your creativity. Push a small action out into the world. Get someone to react. Send an email to a company or person to get a response and move the ball. Action creates momentum.
Sometimes we can get in a rut or we overvalue effort. In the age of automation and ridiculous efficiency, consider the tactical approach more of a commodity. Having clear ideas that stick in reality with creative thinking is what will tend to get results. Changing directions and continuously evaluating are your better assets to nurture.
Can you stop trying harder?