I live with my family on an island and two days ago we woke up to the island being totally covered by ice (that usually doesn’t happen until the end of the winter!).
We could not use our boat (it was stuck in the ice) but I needed to get into town to deliver a speech!
Time to come up with some ideas!
I called boat taxi companies – but they were all stuck in the ice as well
I called the ferries to see if they could break the ice for us, but they did not have the ice-breaking ferries in our part of the archipelago
I called the local government to see if they had a boat they could use – or a hoover craft
I called friends who I knew had a boat or who I thought would know someone who had a boat
I even looked for helicopter companies
I needed to get off the island, and the ice was stopping me!
At 2 pm I still had not found a solution and I really needed to get off the island to get to my speech.
But then, at 2:30, the wind turned and the ice started to break up! In 15 minutes it was gone (or technically it had moved) so that me and my family could jump into our rowing boat and get to the mainland!
I made it to the speech. All good.
I never needed to sit and come up with all those ideas for getting off an island covered in ice.
And that is how it is sometimes.
Does that mean my creative problem solving had no meaning?
No – and that is my point today – the act of trying to solve a problem has value in itself. (And it was good to have options, should the wind not have changed.)
The more we keep up our “trying to find solutions mindset” the more active this skill will be in us.
It’s like how creativity is a muscle. The more we use it and the more often we use it, the stronger it becomes.
Fredrik Haren – The Creativity Explorer
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