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Friday, March 23, 2012

Albert Einstein and Dylan's Party

One of our most prevalent human tendencies is to process our issues and try to solve our problems in the same way we have always done it.

Even though it may not be successful. 

For some strange reason we tend to think that THIS time our approach will work for us.

And so we proceed onward.  We may even try to do the process or pursue the solution harder and faster.  To no avail. 

And here's the reason why.

If you keep doing what you always do...you get what you always get.

And we know what that is.

Albert Einstein had an insightful quote about this predicament.  He said,
“You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.”

When I attempted recently to follow this line of reasoning I arrived at this thought.

When a problem needs to be solved it is often the case for all individuals involved to feel that they have the  "best " idea.  And this situation can easily turn into a "spirited" debate or, in some cases, a free-for-all with everyone jockeying for top position.

However, as Albert instructs, we could (and should) consider trying another approach.  

And here's one possibility.

If a decision needs to be made by more than one person it is very important for each person involved to have the opportunity to  "speak his truth" (share his feelings and view about how to solve the problem).  Each person needs to be heard by the others with interest and curiosity and without judgment.  This step is purely information gathering where everyone has a chance to give his point of view.

Once everyone has had the opportunity to be heard and understood,  a certain ease emerges and the next step can be undertaken with natural energy and some interesting creativity which tends to arise from the positive vibrations that have been created.

At this juncture the next step I am imagining is to brainstorm a solution that honors the energy of everyone's suggestions.

And it's fascinating how easily this solution tends to present itself.

Here's an example of how this can work.

Recently, family members decided to buy a kindle fire tablet for soon-to-be eleven year old Dylan.  Dylan is an avid reader and wordsmith so we thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to encourage his delight in reading. 

Since the kindle fire is an expensive gift and several of us were contributing to it,  this meant that Dylan would not have several packages to open for his birthday celebration.

My idea was that we should place the kindle fire tablet in a box and put that box into another box and yet another box, etc.  Then Dylan would have the fun of unwrapping each box. 

My daughter felt it would be an anti-climax to have Dylan open so many boxes and finally get to his gift. 

Another comment was that it would be better to wrap it simply and then see him surprised by this wonderful gift in some typical wrapping paper.

It wasn't easy to give up my excitement of using all the boxes but I could see the logic of the other suggestions.  And so we good naturedly decided on a solution that would HONOR the energy
of everyone's ideas.  We wrapped the gift simply in birthday paper ...in one box...but with a VERY large, bright bow that captured the "spirit" of my multiple box theory.

Solving the problem this way was fun and very satisfying. 

Giving respectful attention to everyone's ideas and engaging in an unusual problem solving method turned what could have been a tense situation into a creative  exercise that tapped into everyone's energy.

I'm sure Albert was a silent and smiling observer at the planning of Dylan's party.

image from blog.difflearn.com

1 comment:

  1. I love this blog for a few reasons! First, I agree about getting everybody's perspective - I recently picked this up in a work-related seminar; as I am always outspoken, I learned to ASK others that might not willingly speak up their ideas and opinions - getting so many ideas usually makes a problem easier to solve. Second, I love the idea of wrapping Dylan's birthday present! -He is such an amazing child - blessed to have him in our lives !:)