Creative problem-solvers are rarely stressed for very long.
What is their secret? It's simple. When something puzzling tugs their tail, creative problem-solvers are pretty well sure that they will be able to come up with a satisfactory solution. They don't waste a lot of energy worrying. Instead, they set out on a two-step process that virtually guarantees success and a good night's sleep.
Not all "creative personalities" have the process worked out so smoothly, of course. Sometimes a great solution will "pop" into their head, yet on other occasions it eludes them. Like anything else, creative problem-solving works best when you engage it consciously and practice often.
Want to give it a try? Here's how:
Step 1: Clearly state your question.
Your goal in step 1 is to identify a question that, when answered, will shed some light on your situation and move you forward to its next stage. For example:
* If you are stressed out about your finances, perhaps you'll set up a question like "What kind of unique product or service can I easily deliver that will make life more pleasant for the good folks of my community?"
* If you are at a crossroads in your life and looking for direction about what to do next, your question might sound like "What would I do tomorrow if I had the day off and no responsibilities to be concerned about? What if I had a whole month?"
* If you're dealing with a health challenge, maybe you'll ask "What old ways of thinking and feeling can I let go of now in order to allow for more joy in my life?" (Those "feel-good" hormones enhance your energy and vitality.)
Step 2: Put yourself in a situation in which creative insight is likely to occur.
If you're thinking that this process is going to be a lot of hard work, I hate to disappoint you. But... "Thinking about" your question is unlikely to get you the answer you're looking for. Chances are you've done that already, and you already know what you think.
Instead, break out your dancing shoes (or hiking boots, or opera glasses) and go out on the town!
Step 2 can be a whole lot of fun! You see, creative insight is most likely to occur when you are relaxed. You'll be even more easily inspired when you get out of your normal day-to-day environment and put yourself into a safe yet slightly unfamiliar situation.
Consider the possibilities:
* Get moving -- take a walk in the park.
* Browse at a shop you'd normally never stop in, preferably someplace slightly eccentric.
* Go to a concert, the theater, or catch an opera! (If you're in Minot, ND this weekend, you're in luck. Check out "The Bartered Bride" at Minot State University's Nelson Hall on Friday or Saturday at 7:30 or Sunday at 3:00.)
* Attend a worship service at a different church than you normally attend.
* Visit the library or your favorite bookstore and pick up a couple of magazines on topics you know little about. Read them cover to cover, including the ads.
* Go for a drive in the country.
* Luxuriate in a bubble bath.
Here's the thing. You get your question in mind, then distract yourself by doing something active or slightly off the wall. As you engage in the process, be aware for clues ... ideas ... hints. When you get back home, pick up your notebook and answer the question. It's a process I like to call "incubation."
You might be surprised at what you come up with!