It’s not an easy one, but your life can turn around if you did this every day for six months.
We are all humans and we all have challenges in our lives. Some of us have challenges in our jobs, businesses, or studies. Some of us have challenges in our private lives, with our family and friends.
Even though we wish we didn’t have any challenges in our lives, a life without any challenges would be boring. Each challenge is an opportunity to grow as a human being.
Even if you don’t have any challenges in your life right now, you might want to set new goals to create some positive challenges in your life.
How to Handle Challenges?
The first step to handle a challenge is to put it on paper. If you can formulate a challenge as a sentence or a paragraph, you will be well on your way to solve it.
Sometimes, just writing down the challenge is enough to come up with the solution. In other cases, it might require more effort to come up with a solution.
Formulate the challenge as a question.
- How can I increase the sales of my product?
- How can I increase my productivity?
- How can I improve my relationship with my family?
Now, come up with twenty or more ideas to solve this challenge.
At the beginning, it is easy to come up with ideas. The first few ideas are usually the ones that you already know you should be doing but you don’t do.
Keep thinking to complete the minimum twenty answers after the obvious answers. Write down even the most ridiculous answers.
You need to get the most obvious and ridiculous ideas out of your mind and on to the paper to allow new and creative ideas to emerge.
When you write down those twenty answers, something strange happens. You complete the exercise and you go on with your life, but your mind doesn’t stop working on the problem. It comes with new ideas, even if you carry on doing something else.
The best ideas come when you aren’t even thinking about the challenge. They come when you are working out in the gym, taking a shower, or doing something completely irrelevant. For that reason, it’s important to have something to write down your ideas whenever they come up.
I prefer Evernote on my smartphone to keep track of ideas. I write them down, no matter how silly they might seem, because you never know which idea will lead to a solution to your challenge.
Brian Tracy calls this exercise mindstorming. James Altucher goes one step further and recommends doing it every day to become an Idea Machine. He says that your life would turn around, if you did this for six months.
Mindstorming is a great practice to come up with solutions to your challenges. However, it’s not a replacement for learning what you don’t know you don’t know. Reading books and consuming other educational content will feed you with new ideas to solve your challenges.
A more advanced form of mindstorming is brainstorming. That is doing the exercise with two or more people. You might not always have other people to think about a challenge together, but if you have the opportunity, use it.
When you brainstorm with other people, ideas by other people trigger each other. Ideas that each participant never thought of before come up as a result. I know this is not the most popular method among the introverted people, but give it a try if you have the opportunity and see the results yourself.
How to Start
You might wonder how to start this practice. Maybe you don’t have any challenges at this moment. Maybe you have so many challenges that you are overwhelmed by them and don’t know where to start.
Start with writing down twenty challenges that you are facing now or you might be facing in the future. Tomorrow, pick up the most relevant, the most important, the most essential challenge and start from there.
Repeat the mindstorming exercise every day for six months and let me know how your life has changed!
Software developer with a Ph.D. and 15 years of experience. I write daily on personal development and life lessons. Sign up to my email newsletter to receive a weekly overview of my latest content on personal development and life lessons.