Write the Other Way

“If they give you lined paper, write the other way.”

—William Carlos Williams, 20th-Century Puerto-Rican American Poet

Image of the 9 Dot Exercize

The “Nine Dot Exercise” is a classic. The objective, if you’ve never seen it before, is to connect all the dots with four straight lines without lifting your pen or pencil.  I’ve seen many people grow frustrated or give up in attempting to solve the puzzle.

I will not provide any of the possible solutions. You can Google it if you wish, but I will simply suggest that the solution is in approaching the exercise in a way that is not obvious at first glance.

EXERCISE:

Where would an alternative or even contrary approach be the way to solve one of your more pressing professional or personal problems?

“Fall in love with the problem…”

“Fall in love with the problem, not the solution.”

—Kaaren Hanson, VP of Design /Innovations/ Intuit

QC #853

Through the course of our lives, we have all developed strategies for success which we apply to the daily challenges we face in our professional and personal worlds.

As long as these default solutions work reasonably well, we rarely seek alternative solutions that may actually work far better.

When we embrace, and even fall in love with, the problems we face, we generate a higher ability for innovation and creativity, discovering possible solutions that were previously unrecognized.

EXERCISE:

How might falling in love with your problems help you release some of the “sacred cow solutions” you have used over the years? What new and potentially more successful solutions would be possible?