Think outside the trapezoid

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China is the most populated country on earth. Traffic is problematic. This video shows a plausible, creative solution to the problem—elevated buses. The idea may or may not work, but isn’t it invigorating to consider?

Speaking of solving problems…try to decipher these two conundrums:

  1. SEQUENC_  – complete this word—sequence—using any letter other than E
  2. Using six pencils, create four equilateral triangles.

[I’ll give the answers in next week’s post.]

We are often limited by our preconceived constructs. We view, interpret, and interact with the world from a narrow and limited perspective. It’s like going through life with blinders on: what you see is accurate, but it’s incomplete, restrictive, and often misleading. Because of my limited, narrow and myopic view of life, I wonder what I’m missing.

Here are some suggestions for freeing your mind from mind-numbing constraints.

Get out of your “dog-runs.”

We tend to drift into mindless routine; we get into ruts. (A rut has been defined as a grave with both ends extended.) Granted, routines are predictable, comfortable, and at times, efficient; but they can also be mind-numbing.

It takes initiative and intent to move into unfamiliar space. Drive home a different route; have lunch with a stranger; visit the zoo; come up with 20 unique uses for a brick. Define your dog-runs and venture out of them.

Hang out with people who are different from you.

Most of us gravitate to people who look, think, and act like we do. It’s comfortable and consoling but it can also be anesthetizing. Intentionally reach out to people who will challenge your thinking and your status quo. Talk with people who live in a different world than yours and solicit their thoughts about problems you are facing.

Take a break.

Research indicates that our best ideas and solutions often appear when we’re not trying to come up with them. They come during breaks, casual walks, working in the yard, after naps, and other relaxed moments. I got the idea for a best-selling book when I was on a subway in NYC.

Often, we’re unable to solve problems because of our limited perspective. We try to solve new problems using old paradigms. The only way you’ll be able to solve the two riddles mentioned at the beginning of this essay is to approach them from a different perspective. Force yourself to think differently.

[reminder]What are your thoughts about this essay?[/reminder]

6 Replies to “Think outside the trapezoid”

    1. Wayne, you are always kind and encouraging with your comments. Thanks. All that I know about blogging I learned from you. Don

  1. Don,
    I think everyone needs a Tesla. Eight months ago, I look a Tesla in its showroom. What a piece of junk- don’t have an engine, no transmission… nothing but a motor!
    Now I have one, it drives faster than Ferrari, more importantly, its smarter and functionality can be improved all the time. We all are very limited and owe ourselves to see things from different angle.
    Cheers, John

    1. John,
      Tesla is a good example of disruptive technology. They are doing things other car manufacturers have only dreamed about. Good example. Don

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