Problem Solving ClarityDo you ever have those times when you need a quiet place in your head and heart to hear yourself think.  Sometimes you need space to do a little soul-searching and sorting in order to solve a complex business problem or get clarity about the next step in your career or life.  Or maybe you need to get those creative juices flowing. For busy people, inner quiet, though sorely needed, can be illusive.

There are many ways to reduce distractions that hinder thinking, but here’s one of the easiest actions you can take that will help create the inner stillness you need to think things through.  Go outside and be in nature.  Walk in the park, around a nearby lake, beside the ocean, hike in the woods.  Or, plop yourself down on the grass in your own backyard.  It can even work in a city where nature is co-mingled with concrete.  Just walk outside and find a green space or one where you can see the sky.  The important thing is that you feel comfortable and safe enough to relax – maybe even close your eyes.

Once you’re out and about, to bring your focus inside of yourself, breathe deeply and avoid interaction with others.  Be with yourself or better yet, be with no one.  Relax your shoulders and feel the tension begin to melt away.  If you can, focus on nothing – which is harder than it sounds.  Turn off your “seeking mind” – the mind that seeks to understand, to explain, to make sense of all things.  Doing this for just a few minutes will open up the space you need to revisit your task with openness and a renewed perspective.

While your answer may not come at the very minute you want it to, I assure you, it will.  Albert Einstein, one of the history’s greatest thinkers once said, “Problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them.” Often that mind is tense, and it has become so slowly without notice.  Once you get outside and begin to release that tension, patiently, wait and watch solutions flow.

Make this a practice and you will have another tremendous, at-the-ready, problem-solving tool.

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