I think I have a different approach to solving problems. When I’m stumped with some sort of challenge that I can’t seem to get the solution to, I’ll often file it in the back of my mind and work on other things.
In essence, that problem is getting worked on in the background, on a subconscious level. I don’t actively think about it, and I don’t actively try to solve it. In fact, a lot of times, I find myself less effective when I’m actively engaged in finding a solution.
The solution will come if I step away from the problem. I could be eating, or showering, or playing basketball, or even sleeping. And then suddenly, the epiphany would hit.
Some of my most epiphanic (I just made this word up) moments have happened in my dreams, during the moment when I’m sort of awake but not quite. The answer would appear as clear as day, and I’m often surprised because I hadn’t been thinking about it (at least not consciously).
Of course, I’m not saying that I won’t attempt to solve a problem as it presents itself at the moment, this is more for those impossibly-hard, head-stumping challenges that don’t have clear solutions.
So the next time you’re working with me and we’re stuck, don’t get annoyed if I move on to something else. In my view, it’s a lot more efficient this way, plus, I’m still working on that problem in the background.
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