How to Find Creative Solutions For Everyday Problems

February 1, 2010

I got back early from the skate park this morning – about 45 minutes before my wife arrived home – and so … I was locked out of the house. Silly, I know, I really should get another key cut. But anyway.

There I was, sitting on the floor of the garage … when … I … was … suddenly overcome with the — perhaps obvious — thought that I was wasting my precious time.

Here’s what I did. I jumped up off my butt, grabbed my bike, and started riding around in circles in the driveway. I must have done about 100 circles and a dozen or so figure eights.

What does all this have to do with anything?

Here’s what: While I was riding I noticed I had moved from a feeling that I was wasting my time … to … a feeling that I was somehow occupied in a cool activity.

All this got me thinking. How often do we find ourselves in a stuck state or situation because we don’t get off our butt and take some action in a new direction that could lead to better results?

I remember hearing about a hotel that was having a lift installed. The owners where worried. They thought (and rightly so) that they would loose patrons because they had to close the hotel to allow the work to progress. Problem was, they could see no way around it. So they focused their energy and attention on trying to figure out how to minimize the time the hotel would be closed.

There was a janitor on the building. Upon hearing the hotel would close he also became concerned. “What if they lost patrons once the hotel opened up again? What if the owners need to make cut backs and I loose my job?” he thought.

Then he came up with a solution. He began to focus on the purpose or reason for the lift. The lift’s job was to safely transport people from one floor of the hotel to another.

He thought some more. “Does the lift really have to be on the inside of the building, where it will require extensive internal work and cause the hotel to close for a few weeks while the work goes ahead?”

“No”, he thought. “We could transport people from one floor to the next with the lift on the outside of the building just as easily as we could with the lift on the inside of the building!”

He told this to the owners of the lift building company … and to the owners of the hotel.

It would serve everyone’s purpose. The lift company would get to install their lift. The hotel owners could keep their hotel opened. The regular patrons wouldn’t have to find a new hotel for the duration of the lift work. And the janitor would keep his job.

And so … the first external lift was born.

All because one man (the janitor) redefined the problem and … as a result … came up with a better solution.

How many problems do you have? Are you seeing the real problem? How can you redefine the problems in your life and perhaps come up with better solutions?


Author Info: Michael Low is a professional copywriter specializing in Internet sales letters, traffic generation, website conversion and email marketing campaigns. He’s also the author of the popular ebook “How to Write Articles People Want to Read” which he now gives away free to readers of this blog.


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