Puzzles are no “child’s play”

possibility thinking, problem solving

Yesterday I spoke about how the puzzles are so difficult for people like me to solve. Even though I talk a lot about being open to possibilities, to think laterally etc. there are times when you give up or come out with compromise solutions.

However the puzzles that we give children to solve, have a single solution which needs to be identified. Most children are able to solve these problems by trying multiple times with an open mind. They also don’t operate on time pressure generally.

In the corporate world we generally have time pressures, but maybe I could be using it sometimes as a excuse. However when we are dealing with humans in the problem, there is no fixed solution because human beings can change stance. Then we are dealing with a moving target.

The main thing about myself , I would think is that I run out of patience, in trying out different options. I think that’s one take away after working on the puzzles.

Working on these puzzles is addictive in nature. So some kinds of puzzles like the simple to medium Sudoku, and word puzzles I am able to solve quite fast. But puzzles like Mashu have taken me an enormous amount of time for me to figure out eventhough the instructions seem to be simple.

The big difference between children and me I think is that I tend to take the instruction as the only possibility and not trying out the possibilities that have not been listed, assuming they are not allowed. This is the biggest problem with most of us adults. We don’t try to identify unlisted assumptions and explore solutions using that.

Till next time then….see what other possibilities can be explored.

Carpe Diem!!!

Puzzles for children- can create possibilities

possibility thinking, problem solving

I was recently cleaning up a storage space in our house. I came across some books which my son had used at different stages of his schooling. Some of those books I gave away to my maid for her children.

There were a few books of puzzles, which were not used and then there a couple of books specifically for mathematical puzzles.

I started working on some of the puzzles. I had known about SuDoku and I used to enjoy the simple and medium difficulty ones. So I started with those. But then there were others like Kakuro, Hutoshiki, Heyawake and Mashu.

I tried my hand at Mashu initially but I got so engrossed that I didn’t have the time to go to the others I have listed above.

Mashu is all about drawing a pattern with one line which does not cross itself. As a concept this is very simple. But when you get down to drawing using the constraints that have been placed, it is just mind boggling.

Maybe as adults we get so fixed with our ideas, we don’t think of other possibilities. We use the same parameters to solve all problems. But children don’t put limits, hence for some of them these puzzles are literally “child’s play”.

I have still not been able to solve a single Mashu puzzle on my own without referring to the solution to give me a starting point. That’s how tough it seems to me. But it has also made me more humble and made me think ata few more ways now than I used to.

If you are fed up of your daily routine, try using the time you have spare and start solving puzzles, it will help you open up to possibilities for solving problems that you are faced with.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Life balances out

Character, Gratitude, possibility thinking

When we are going through challenging times , we tend to get into self pity mode and wonder why bad things happen to us. At this time we feel others are having a whale of a time. Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

On the other hand when things are going well for us we don’t even bother to note that others could be facing challenging times.

Like the seasons, spring follows winter, winter follows autumn and autumn follows summer, in life also times keep changing for everyone. Gautum Buddh , was born as a prince, but when he saw so much suffering he renounced his kingdom in search of a deeper meaning to life. He actually tried to find one household where there had never been death, never been any misery but couldn’t find any.

This happened about 3000 years ago. Its true even today. But in general humanity has evolved so much over the centuries, because inspite of all the suffering there are people who through grit and determination fight through odds to move forward. Even these people have their fair share of challenges, but its the way they handle the challenges that makes the difference. Man kind has moved forward so much in those 3000 years because of these kind of people.

Some people face challenges at some phase of their lives, some at others. There was a period of about 12 years when there was nothing which was going right for me. Butt when I look back, that period also made me more appreciative of what I have. It made me appreciative of the fact that God has been kind to me because I have seen people with even more challenges during those times. My brother, his family and my extended family supported me so much during those days that I was able to come out of the situations. It changed and evolved my character.

Today when I talk to my younger team members, when they face challenges, I tell them the same things. I try to give them that same support because at the end of the day life happens “FOR” us not “To” us and it happens to “All of Us”. Time passes, challenges pass. You need to be stedfast in identifying possibilities and moving forward. Life is precious, live it.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Fixed mindset – can’t welcome constraints

constraints, ego, Fear, possibility thinking, problem solving

Yesterday I had written about how I have changed over the years, growing old has also got me to become more open to different thinking patterns, to stop fearing problems and constraints and to rather welcome them.

Sometimes I do get blocked by my own fixed mindset or by others in the team who are not willing to take a different route to solve a challenge. This happens because the existing method had helped solve similar challenges till now. So we try harder to use the same method with the same failure. But because the path has got so strongly ingrained in our mind, we don’t like to change.

At one point in time, calling out or sending physical letters was the best method to get connected to B2B prospects, then came email, then social media. Today with a plethora of methods available you sometimes have to use all of them.But if we were to only stick to calling – and I am guilty of this – then our connections will fall.

So while using various tools like the ones which are shown in ” A Beautiful Constraint” help open the mind to look at possibilities, if you are not willing to work on the results that the tools throw up, you will still be where you started from.

I think our ability to have a growth mindset, possibility thinking and an outward looking nature are all intertwined, as are, a fixed mindset, inward looking and pondering over problems for too long. The later could be because of a fragile ego or a fear that someone else thought of a solution rather than us.

We live in interesting times right now, there are lots of challenges and therefore a lot of opportunities. Its all about what you want to spend you time with.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!