There’s an exercise I like to do when I’m trying to sort out a situation with seemingly no apparent solution: look at it anew, as if I’ve never seen or heard of it before.
It really only consists of one simple step: to look.
I won’t speak for any of you reading this, but I am constantly amazed by the things about my problem that moments before were “absolutely definite” and “unchangeable,” that are now not even relevant. They were my own ideas superimposed on what the reality of the situation actually is.
I often hear people speak about their problems as if they are the problem all the time.
“Oh, the deal won’t go through because the CEO is just so hard to get ahold of.”
“Well of course Christmas is slow, everyone knows that!”
“I’m just no good at this kind of thing, so it won’t work.”
Every such sentiment is just an excuse, a blanket statement that doesn’t necessarily reflect reality or stand true. I don’t care if the CEO is hard to get ahold of, if last Christmas was slow, or if you aren’t good at that kind of thing – you can outmaneuver it, out problem-solve it and practice until you’re good at it – but only if you’re not hamstrung by your own views on the matter.
I know because I do it too, but by working on getting rid of these unnecessary ideas, I can attack problems more effectively. By getting out of my own way, I’m able to start forming a solution and working toward it.
I’m not saying you’ll solve everything with this, but for me it’s worked a little bit like magic.