The secret to solving problems it would seem, isn’t such a secret at all. When clients and others talk with me about how they get those aha moments or just simply arrive at new thought, their answers appear to be consistent.
Whilst talking to a CEO recently the same principles came out of the conversation. We were talking about how she solved problems or got a new idea. It turns out that the most difficult problems were solved whilst out jogging and listening to her music. It would seem the solution would arrive when she wasn’t thinking about the problem at all.
It’s an important observation. Problems rarely get solved in the process of actively searching for the solution. Even when all the research has been done and everyone you know has offered an opinion or advice, striving to find an answer often does not arrive at one. We recognise the answer when it feels right, there’s an intuition, gut instinct or good feeling about it. It has a natural easy feel to it. We know when we haven’t reached that place.
What other people have shared about their experiences of problem solving suggests there is a ring of truth about this phenomenon. Our solutions seem to come out of nowhere, when we’re not even thinking about them. When we have let them go for the day, or the week or the month – in some cases longer. We have let them go, let go of the struggling, the over thinking. We’re just in another space.
In this space we are allowing Wisdom to come through, a deeper intelligence that doesn’t require our conscious thought, or conscious mind, it comes from a deeper place. What’s amazing about this, is all we have to do is create the space for that wisdom to shine through. So whether you want to run, swim, dance, sing or mediate it’s just good to know that regardless of the conundrum you are wrestling with right now, it appears the less you think about it the quicker the problem gets solved.
I’ve been in conversation with some fellow coaches recently who have arrived at a place of no worry by adopting the ‘I don’t care’ slogan. It’s causing some laughter, and is actually very funny when you say it to someone when they least expect such a response. What they are trying to get to though, is a way of being that dismisses over thinking – you know those states where you can’t stop ruminating. Issues start to look larger than they are, and grow the more we feed them. It can be distracting day-to-day and in the context of a wider picture, not really worth the time.
It would seem though, that we have a choice about this over thinking (remember nothing wrong with thinking).
Some time ago, I stumbled upon an alternative that seemed so ridiculously simple it seemed a bit silly at the time. I suddenly realised I could make a choice about what to commit my time to – that I was actually in charge of how to respond to my thinking, even if I wasn’t in charge of the quality of my thinking. This can mean rejecting the anxious distracting thoughts that arrive out of nowhere – the ones that interfere with the quality of my experience. So I get to accept or reject those kind of thoughts coming and going into my mind. I don’t give them any energy, if they do take hold I pay them as little attention as possible. Diverting my attention to more worthwhile causes. Often, this can mean doing the task that I am ruminating about rather than wasting my time over thinking in anticipation of doing the task.
What strikes me about this, is that it looks as though the high achievers of the world seem to have this understanding, whether learned or gained through experience. They deliver regardless, keeping their personal Sat Nav locked on their destination. These people aren’t successful because they don’t get insecure thinking, they merely transcend it. Thoughts aren’t our reality they are our illusion. What’s real is what get’s created, or not, by you despite the quality of your thoughts.