The more we stress about our problems, the bigger they get.
Sometimes the best thing to do is let go of our problems. Not to give up, but to let up – and make some “space.”
Yesterday I took the afternoon off. Even though it was during the week I decided to go on a date with my wife. No blackberries, hand held devices or computers. No email. Just the two of us hanging out for the afternoon; just like we used to when we first met.
It was such a great afternoon. I forgot about all my problems. I forgot about all my concerns and I forgot about my work. That evening, 8 or so hours later I solved two of my biggest problems… one of which didn’t require any work on my part. The other one came to me as a new idea.
How did I do it? What’s my secret?
Here are the three steps to think more clearly and creatively:
Step 1: Think on Paper (30 Minutes)
There is a quote from one of the Rich Dad’s from the popular book Rich Dad, Poor Dad Book. It goes, “Always think on paper.”
I’ve always loved this quote and lived this. I have a white board in my office where I do all of my thinking. I draw and doodle; I connect the dots. I look to see how things flow together. I cut and paste. I use words and text to mold my ideas and explore my problems.
Once I’ve emptied my head I’m then ready to…
2. Mastermind (1 hour)
The phrase “two heads are better than one” is an understatement. Masterminding is when you have two or more people brainstorming and working together to come up with new solutions to problems. It’s also a great tool for generating new ideas.
My business partner and I have these mastermind sessions quite often. We use these sessions to brainstorm ideas and bounce new concepts off each other. Before we start our mastermind sessions, we normally ask ourselves these 4 questions:
What is this meeting about?
What are we trying to achieve?
What are the challenges we want to overcome?
How will this help us? Our clients? Our business?
These are great questions to ask yourself when masterminding. Just let the ideas flow and you’ll be surprised at how crazy and remarkable the solutions will be.
The last step is to…
3. Take a Mini-Vacation (2-6 hours)
Take a what? Yes, a mini-vacation.
Decompress and disconnect. This has helped me solve my biggest problems with the least amount of effort.
You’ve got to give your subconscious breathing room. It’s part of letting go and trusting in yourself. My best ideas are not the ones I get during a mastermind session or when I’m writing them out. They come 2-48 hours after I’ve done my deep thinking or had a really good masterminding session.
So the trick is to be patient; to let go and relax. The more relaxed you are the better. That’s why I suggest taking a min-vacation; taking a nap, go for a walk in nature or socialize with friends. Just give yourself a break. The ideas will come.
Think clearly and more creatively by following these 3 steps. You’ll be glad you did.