Posted March 2010
What To Do When You Get Stuck
It has happened to the best of us. We'll be working on a project and suddenly we hit a brick wall. We're stuck and nothing seems to come to mind as to how to get out of the imbroglio. The mind goes blank as in a semi-comatose state.
The two most frequent causes of this state of affair are: the mind is on overload or there is a lack of clarity regarding the purpose.
The mind will go on overload when it tries to grasp too many elements at the same time. Case in point. Let's say that you want to write a letter to a friend to give some news, inform about a project that you're working on and give the latest on the state of your health. You sit in front of the computer, type in the email address, write the words, "Hi John" as the subject matter, but when it gets to start writing the message, nothing comes to mind. A blank, the minds goes numb.
The problem here is that you're trying cover to many subjects at once. The solution is simple. Concentrate on only one of the areas that you want to cover and then move on to the next. The same principle applies whether you are writing a letter, planning to build a house or looking for a new job. No matter what the undertaking is, cut it down to bite size and focus only in one area at the time. The process is called "chunking." You are actually chunking a subject into palatable bite size.
Lack of clarity is also a frequent cause of mental blocks. How can we solve a problem if it is not clear what the problem is? The ideal way of getting out of that situation is to take a pen and paper and actually write down what the problem seems to be. Putting down our thoughts on paper has a way of shedding light on the situation.
Now, our first attempt at stating the problem might not prove to be the precise description that we were looking for. If so, simply scratch whatever has been written and write another statement and repeat the process until the clarity that you seek is found.
There are some cases when the above solutions will not work. In that case the omniscient brain approach can be used. Loosely defined the omniscient brain approach theory would be that the mind is infinitely wise and that it already knows everything and all that we have to do to get the answer that we want is to ask the right question.
Whether the theory is valid or not matters little. It is a well known fact that no matter what question we ask the mind, it will supply an answer. The answer may be accurate or not but at least it gives something to work on. And, again, if the answer that we get from the mind is not the one that we were looking for, all that we have to do is to formulate the question another way. Sooner or later, we should find a combination question/answer that works.
There is also a variant to the omniscient brain approach that can be tried. The brain works in very mysterious ways. Sometimes a flash of insight will flash during our sleep and it will be so powerful that it will wake us up. Should that happen, whatever solution has been provided by that dream induced inspiration should be immediately written down. Even if it seems to be so vivid that there are no way that we could ever forget it - chances are that, when morning comes around, it will be nothing but a blur and if it is not written down, it will be lost forever.
Another solution that could help in getting unstuck would be found in the master mind principle. That is, simply discuss the situation with friends and acquaintances. Someone could very well come up with an angle that has never been considered before and could prove to be the ideal path to follow.
Lastly, there is the laterally gravitational approach. Like the mountain climber who is faced with a insurmountable obstacle, the only thing to do is to start moving laterally. That is, instead of trying to forge ahead with the initial undertaking, some optional related subjects is explored. The would give the mind a rest and something unexpected might come to mind that will provide the inspiration needed to resume the undertaking.
The mind is a magnificent tool. Its potential is said to be virtually limitless. We should trust it more and never give up on exploring it. It will always amaze us by sooner or later giving us whatever answer that we were looking for. Perseverance is the key. Where there is a will, there is a way.
Copyright © 2009 Dr. Raymond Comeau
Dr. Raymond Comeau aka Shamou is the Author of ShamouBlog and Administrator of Personal Development for Personal Success Forums.
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