Have you ever been in a bumper car and found yourself face to face with a stranger who just rammed into you (or you rammed into)? Is there a sudden recognition that maybe this is someone you’d like to meet? Or maybe you went on the ride hoping to meet someone new . . . Then read on to find out why bumper cars matter to creative thinking and problem solving.
My introduction to systematic problem solving began with the list. It was a simple pros-and-cons list written on a slip of paper or in a little notebook. I came upon an old one cleaning out the garage. It was torn from a small notebook, the kind I used before I got my first PDA (in the ’90s, around the time I started writing what became The Personal Power Roadmap book). Today that list has evolved into a 7-section chart used with the Personal Power Roadmap, a 7-step system you learn once, then use the rest of your life whenever you need to solve a problem, make a major decision, set and reach a goal, or create a project.
Like me, you have probably discovered the limitations of the list. It just doesn’t have any real structure other than the “pros” and “cons.” It doesn’t tell you what to do next. It just tells you what you already know.
What we already know is the “box” that we’re supposed to think outside of. What’s in the box isn’t going to help us get the best results. But how do we think outside the box? We are told to do it, but not how to do it.
We need to find a way to connect what we know to what we don’t know. We need to find seemingly unrelated ideas that we can spark off, like bumper cars colliding at random and bringing us face-to-face with someone else. Think of the ideas that you need to solve a problem as bumper cars colliding with one another. Think of it as a fun ride. Enjoy the challenge of problem solving, and the sense of satisfaction when you succeed.
This blog, like the book, “The Personal Power Roadmap: The Ultimate 7 Step System to Effectively Solve Problems, Make Decisions, and Reach Your Goals,” is to help us all get better at solving problems, making decisions, reaching our goals — and creating better lives. I want to share with you my ideas, and I want you to share yours with me. Feel free to post here, or to write to me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy the ride!