Use Active Thinking to Solve Your Problems

Article by Mira Yossifova, The Creative Spot

One of the essential things to learn is active thinking. Active thinking is the actual process of thought used to solve problems. It is the way we see ordinary things and information and organize them into new, unknown patterns. The way we look from a different perspective and go beyond the typical boundaries that shape everyday problems, constantly reshaping and managing information into new forms.

To engage in active thinking, one must apply a different set of thinking skills. Provide a holistic approach to solving problems and use creativity to connect the dots.

One of the ways to solve a problem successfully is to explore different routes and approaches to it. After finding the most apparent solution, don’t stop. Sometimes, we think we’ve found the best idea, but if we dig deeper, we can see an even better, a not so obvious one. When making a list of possible solutions, we first record the most common and ordinary ideas. Only after a while we begin to examine the less obvious ones. But they could be the ones that solve our problem faster, cheaper, or better.

You can discover the less common and abstract ideas by making an idea quota. Say you’ll stop searching for solutions only after you reach fifty ideas. Write down ideas until your reach the predetermined number. Don’t stop until you reach your quota. Examine the list and then leave it for a while. After a day or two, your subconscious brain will start to add more. Re-examine it and add new items. Then invent a rule for judging ideas that depend on the specific problem you face. Such criteria might be strengths and weaknesses or relevance to the issue you face. Or any other that you think might be appropriate.

The key to finding the correct answer is to produce more and more ideas. Quantity is important. The more, the better. Don’t limit yourself to the first thing that comes to mind. Get as many concepts as you can, even if they seem absurd at first. Search all possibilities. Use as many different approaches to the problem as you can imagine. Get a view from different angles. Sometimes the solution could be counterintuitive, but that doesn’t make it wrong; on the contrary.

Having a diversity of thought beats clichés every time. We are most creative when we produce a lot of stuff and discard most of it. The gem you are looking for lies somewhere in between.

The key to creativity is active thinking.

Challenge all assumptions.

Try to gain flexibility of thought and de-standardize your brain.

This is a guest article, first published on author’s website: