The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking. | Albert Einstein
Have you ever set out to solve a problem or come up with something new only to have your brain refuse to cooperate? You’re not alone. Getting our brains in gear is one of the biggest obstacles to creative thinking. When I was a university professor, I taught Creative Thinking and Problem Solving. I was amazed at how difficult it was for students of all ages to process new ideas. For many people, their claim of being innovative thinkers is simply foolish self-talk. Their lives contradict their proclamations.
If you find yourself struggling to think, here are three things you can do to get your brain in gear.
- Ask: If I could go back and start all over again, would I build what I have right now? This is a great organizational question that many leaders should address. It also works for our individual lives. Much of what we do and who we are is a byproduct of our failure to think. Thinking will take us in a different direction almost every time.
- Ask: If I painted today a color, what color would it be? It sounds strange, but the psychology of color is more important than we think. Marketers spend millions of dollars each year analyzing the ways people respond to color. It influences their product and logo designs. So, if color can influence our decisions, it must be connected to our thought processes.
- Flip your day. Classroom flipping is a growing trend in education. Basically, flipping is when the content delivery is accomplished away from class and the “homework” or discussion takes place in class. This worries lecturers and excites interactive teachers. Well, rather than flipping the classroom, flip your day. Rearrange the activities and allow the break in routine to inspire your thinking. Routine and habits are natural enemies of creative thinking.
How you’ve thought in the past brought you to where you are. If you want different results, change your thinking. If you don’t change your thinking, your future and today look a lot alike. Think about it!
If you painted today a color, what color would it be and why?