How to Solve Unsolvable Problems

(1 min read)

If you’re ever obsessing over a decision or trying to figure out the best solution to a problem, try this:

Chances are you’ve already explored every possible scenario with your conscious mind. Time to call in the big guns.

Step one: let go of the problem-solving for the rest of the day.

Step two: Go to bed with a few thoughts on the problem. Not the solution, but the problem. (And when I say just a few thoughts, that’s the important part. Don’t obsess. Just get the message in there.)

Step three: Think about something else, listen to music, meditate, do whatever it is you do to put yourself to sleep.

Step four: Sleep.

This is when the real work begins.

Our minds work for us all the time and they work fastest without the pesky interruptions of conscious thought, like an algorithm effortlessly computing all the possibilities of 10-digit number without its programmer interjecting with earth-bound ideas.

Let the neurons fire their fireworks while all you do is breath in and out.

Step five: When you wake up, before you talk, before you brush your teeth (okay, maybe after that), sit down with a keyboard or a pen and paper and write the answer to your problem.

It will already be there, like a rogue gumball sitting at the bottom of the chute, a beautiful surprise for the person who is faithful enough to lift the little metal flap.

And you – the grown adult with adult problems and adult decisions – will be as excited and wide-eyed as a kid with a free gumball, wondering what else is out there waiting for you and how much more magic you have left in your hands.