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Creative Problem Solving

Creativity is a matter of perspective. It is the ability to look at the ordinary and see the extra-ordinary. When face with problems, we can take the low road of pain, frustration, and unhappiness or we can take the high road of information, value, and happiness. Your chose.

Learn to develop your creativity. Work puzzles. Engage in something artistic like paints or clay. Turn on the music and do impression dancing. Play games or rhymes or tongue-twisters with a child. Rearrange furniture. Prepare an exotic cru sine. Go camping. Make do. Giving freedom to your innate creativity lends itself to solutions.

Live life in pencil. There is usually more than one answer to a problem, or at least many sections to the overall answer. You are continually choosing from many possibilities. Try, fail, learn and try again. Brainstorm and come up with many possibilities, then focus on the most plausible without ruling out the absurd. Photo Journalist Dewitt Jones of National Geographic uses 400 rolls of film and 14,000 pictures taken per assignment with the results of 30 photos per issue.

Ask pertinent questions. Reframe problems into possibilities.
* what factors/causes/variables are we ignoring?
* what information do you still need?
* whom do you need to consult?
* for clarity, define the problem in writing
* what is the worst that could happen?
* what good could come even if the worst happened?

Do not be afraid to make mistakes. Lighten up; a mistake is a behavior that does not get what you want. Break the pattern. If you continue in a habit long enough, it becomes organized behavior performed by habit and never improved. Summons the courage to make the tough decisions.

Train your techniques. Until you own your new behavior, when pressure comes, you revert to the old pattern. Set up a safe environment in which to change and to practice. Practice becomes permanent as you practice correctly. Remember, you are always practicing. That is how habits are formed – or broken.

Accept problems as a passage of life. Once you realize that life is difficult, you transcend the difficulty and can creatively concentrate on problem solving.

Mona Dunkin is a Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer and Personal Success Coach.

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