Sometimes it’s difficult to see the possibility, and we feel stuck!
And why not? By the time you graduated from high school, you took an average of 3,952 quizzes, tests and exams. From a very early age, you learned there is only one right answer and several wrong answers.
It’s no wonder we can freeze in the face of obstacles thinking there is only way out.
Option #107 for the Win!
Optimism helps us to see the possibility even in the midst of uncertainty. It helps us to answer the question: What haven’t I tried?
To get you started, here are a few of my favorite tried and true innovative thinking strategies to help move from feeling stuck to feeling empowered.
Five Innovative Thinking Strategies
Use questions like “What if?” or “What else?” to explore the possibilities.
Problem: broken potato chips at the bottom of the chip bag.
Food scientists at P&G compared potato chips to leaves on a tree. When a leaf is dry, it crumbles. When it is moist, it is bendable. This comparison helped them develop a process for shaping and packaging potato chips while they were still moist to eliminate breakage.
And the result? Pringles potato chips in a can.
CHANGE YOUR VIEW
Look at a situation from different perspectives and viewpoints and make note of what you see. Solicit input from others. What do they see?
Bring different ideas and concepts together in a unique way.
Nike’s first running shoe was inspired over breakfast by combining the rubber sole of a track shoe with the grooves of a waffle iron.
CHANGE YOUR SETTING
Your conscious mind is only able to process one idea at a time. However, your subconscious can focus on several ideas at a time. That’s why so many people say their best ideas come in the shower!
Feeling stuck? Take a walk. Exercise. Talk to someone. Go out for coffee. Then, see what ideas start to flow.
We all hit obstacles, it’s part of life. Optimism helps you to recognize that you have choices and you can take action. It may not be the perfect choice or action, but it can be a step in the right direction.
The next time you hit an obstacle:
Consider all the possible ways to respond.
Apply one of the innovative thinking techniques.
Pay attention to how you are feeling. What is the wisdom in the feeling? What data or information can you take from the way you are feeling in the moment?
How are your feelings impacting the way you are seeing the problem?
What is one step can you take to move forward?
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