Happy Sunday readers,
I’ve been thinking about Apollo 13 recently. Rent the movie for the complete story. Here’s the synopsis: Three astronauts traveling to the moon have a series of problems while on a space mission. They had to use their wits, and through the power of logic, come up with some creative solutions quick.
Recently I’ve been counseling someone with a “big problem.” Everyone usually has several problems which they encounter daily, but there is one (or several) with a lot of juice. Something that stops them in their track, and keep them up at night. I like to think of them as Apollo 13 problems. Most of them are related to money, health or relationships.
This individual was frozen by one of the big three problems, and he couldn’t see any solutions. He had tried “everything” to fix his problem. I asked him if he’s tried “everything” which he sheepishly said not everything, but it sure felt that way. I pointed out if Edison failed 10,000 times to create the lightbulb do you think he tried the same solution 9,999 times and succeeded the last time? Not likely!
So my suggestion – write down three new solution to this Apollo 13 problem everyday for two weeks. That would offer him 24 new solutions. Do it for a month and you would have 90 options.
Now I warned him – don’t filter the suggestions your brain comes up with. Some of your suggestions are crazy, even illegal, but several of them will turn out to be really creative. All he needed was one or two great solutions and he was set.
Once he had his list I wanted him to check each solution on a scale of 1-10. One for minimum effort, ten for maximum effort. Finally I wanted him to rate his enthusiasm for each solution on the scale of 1-10. He finally began to see several solutions naturally rise to the top.
You might ask – why would I want him to rate effort and enthusiasm? Enthusiasm will carry people over the hump of effort, but they might give up if the effort is too difficult when enthusiasm is so low.
In the case of the client he wanted to fix a money problem. I had him do my Apollo 13 exercise – what he realized was astonishing. He saw in black and white that his usual solution wouldn’t get different results, but adding a list of new potential ideas he had new possibilities. He began to feel hopeful he could get new results.
So what are your mission critical problems? Start with a piece of paper and begin brainstorming to get some new ideas.
I don’t want to give away the story, but in the end everything worked out.
Have a great week from your Mompreneur
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P.S. – RIP Whitney Houston…may you sing on forever.