Intelligence alone is not always enough to ensure you will solve your toughest problems. It takes another quality that may surprise you. We see the answer in the words of Albert Einstein.
I am not more gifted than the average human being. If you know anything about history, you would know that is so – what hard times I had in studying and the fact that I do not have a memory like some other people do…I am just more curious than the average person and I will not give up on a problem until I have found the proper solution…Now, if you understand what I have just told you, you see that it is not a matter of being more gifted but a matter of being more curious and maybe more patient until you solve a problem (Albert Einstein).
A key ingredient you need to solve problems is curiosity.
Three Easy Ways to Practice Curiosity
- Read a Little Every Day
Reading good books, blogs, articles, and other forms of the written word, increases the flow of ideas and keeps your brain open to new ways of seeing the world and what is possible. With each book, you have the opportunity to come with childlike curiosity that can expand your thinking and shape your actions.
I just finished reading a book that generated all kinds of new ideas and examples of people who made the most of life. The book, “The School of Greatness: A real-world guide to living bigger, loving deeper, and leaving a legacy” was written by Lewis Howes who is a master at learning from the experience of others.
- Ask Lots of Questions
Questions are powerful tools that open doors to greater understanding and problem solving. The best questions aren’t the negative ones that go something like, “Why me?” but have more power and go more like, “What can I learn from this?” and “What’s next?”
Asking questions about your situation open your mind to think differently and see things from a different perspective. One question I’ve used many times when facing a challenge is, “What are 10 ways to solve this problem?” The act of answer that question usually unlocks a new direction or approach I had not yet tried.
- Connect With Others
One of my favorite things to do is to meet new people and learn something in the process. Last week while doing some training, I enjoyed a meal with two colleagues — both very resourceful people.
My eyes were opened wide to some new ways to use some of the tools I currently have but wasn’t using them in the most effective way. That is one of my go-to strategies for solving problems — find something smarter than I am and ask them how they would solve the problem.
So remember, it’s not how smart you are that will determine how quickly or effectively you’ll solve the problems and challenges you face. It’s curiosity that will open up all kinds of possibilities that await.
What problem or challenge are you currently facing that needs a little curiosity?