Start building your problem-solving muscle today
I got this tip from James Altucher’s book Choose Yourself. If you can solve problems then you will likely go very far in life. To me, life seems like a continuous set of problems that we have to overcome so that we can move up to the next level. Like in a video game, you can’t move up to the next level until you have figured out how the current level works. That is like real life.
But aren’t some people better than others at solving problems? And aren’t those the people that get ahead? Well, there may be some truth in this, but even if you’re not a great problem solver you can make yourself one.
…build up your idea or problem-solving muscle.
In James’ book, he suggests coming up with 10 ideas every day for the next six months. We all know that going to the gym will build your physical muscles. In a similar way, coming up with 10 ideas a day will build up your idea or problem-solving muscle.
So when you need to solve a real problem you’ll be much more effective.
If you have a problem in life but don’t know how to fix it, it’s likely because you’re not used to solving problems. You can probably come up with one or two solutions that aren’t great and then you give up. The idea behind coming up with 10 ideas a day is that you get used to thinking about these things. So when you need to solve a real problem you’ll be much more effective.
Many people don’t have enough money and that can be a big problem for them. But why don’t they come up with a solution to earn more? Well, some did think of a couple of ways but they weren’t effective. They then gave up and accepted the fact that they will never have enough money. I was in this situation myself and over time have come up with over 100 ways to make extra money and I use many of them today.
So, for the next six months, write down 10 ideas every day on a specific topic. The first few ideas will likely be easy, but then you’ll have to think hard to come up with 10. That is the part that pushes you to think up novel solutions. And that is what gets you good at problem-solving. The ideas can be on anything.
For example, 10 ideas to earn $100 extra next month.
For example, 10 ideas to earn $100 extra next month. 10 ideas to have a better sex life. 10 ideas to fit more exercise into your day. It doesn’t matter what you choose, as it’s coming up with the 10 ideas that’s important. Silly ideas are fine, but they should be at least somewhat practical. You don’t have to act on the ideas. This is only an exercise to get you thinking creatively.