Who decided that quick problem solving is hard or even impossible? When we remain open to the possibility of it being easy, we allow solutions to present themselves.
There’s a chapter from a book I absolutely love entitled The Big Leap in which the author Gay Hendricks relays a story of consulting with two top executives of a Fortune 500 company. The executives are in deep conflict and desperately seeking a solution, which is why they’ve called in the author. And when he shows up to his meeting with these two executives, he begins by posing to them this single powerful question:
“Would you be willing to have a creative solution emerge from our conversation, whether it takes two minutes or two days?”
This question, while nonimportant within the context of that particular chapter, struck me to my core.
I heard myself think: “But how could a creative solution emerge in just two minutes? That’s not possible – is it? Surely if a transformative idea or stroke of pure genius is to emerge, it should take days (or at least hours) for that to happen … right?”
But then I heard another voice from within. And this one said: “Says who? Who decided that?”
As it turned out, I had decided that. I had decided that quick problem solving is hard. I had decided that tremendous progress takes time. A LOT of time.
Quick problem solving is all about being open to a fast solution.
And as is true with most things in life, when we decide with all of our might and being that something is true – it quite simply becomes our reality. Believe it will take two days, and it will probably take two days. Believe it will take two hours, and it will most likely take two hours. And if you said to me with all your conviction and might, “I am getting this done in twenty minutes and YOU JUST WATCH ME” – I’d put money on the fact that you will.
The point is – when we open ourselves up to the POSSIBILITY that powerful transformations can happen in small amounts of time, they just might.
So what do you say? Are you open to maybe having a brilliant idea in a matter of minutes? Are you open to perhaps having a downright singular realization in a matter of minutes? If so, keep reading.
I’m trying something new as of late, and I’d like to share it with you. It’s a very simple practice: all you need is a good “I” statement and an open mind. (And as a side note, never underestimate the power of these two things combined – their power is virtually endless!)
Example 1: Before I began this blog post, I said aloud to myself: “I am open to writing a blog post I love in a short span of time. I open to this taking thirty minutes to finish.” (By the way, I just glanced at the clock and I’m looking on track to finish within that timeframe).
Example 2: When I headed to the mall recently to shop for a new purse, I said aloud to myself: “I am open to finding the perfect purse for me in a short span of time. I am open to finding it at the very first store I go to.” (Which, you guessed it, is exactly what happened).
Example 3: When I sit down to meditate upon a difficult situation that has me stuck or unsure, I sometimes say aloud to myself: “I am open to the pathway forward making itself visible to me in just a little while.” (And, more often than not, a solution makes itself known shortly thereafter).
Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying this means you can write your dissertation in an hour or sail across the Atlantic in a weekend – but I do find that all too often, we decide beyond a doubt that important things should take LONG periods of time. When in reality, solutions can come quickly. Inspiration can come quickly. Transformation sometimes happens very quickly.
The next time you sit down to do any kind of creative work, acknowledge that something incredible might take two days to complete, but it also might take two minutes. Quick problem solving might come naturally!
Can you think of a time in your life when something profound surfaced or you were able to solve a problem in almost no time at all? If so, I’d love to hear it. Please leave us a story in the comments below.
Looking for more?
If you enjoyed this post, here are some other quick reads from Janelle (that’s me!) at Ellanyze on productivity: