March 03, 2009

The Open Mind Principle

When a problem comes along that needs solving, where is the first place the we tend to look?

Internally. The trouble is, the solution is rarely found solely within ourselves. Sure, we have certain resources, passions, and inherent strengths and talents that are available for our use. It is absolutely wise to know and make use of these. However, without some idea of how to use what we have, we often find ourselves mulling over a problem without having any idea how to resolve it.

Part of the issue with only looking internally is that you only use what you have now. There are other possible ideas that others have that may be able to solve the same problem that you are trying to solve. Ironically, the ideas that they have may not even be ones that are directly related to the issue or challenge that you are looking to resolve.

Something else worth considering is that there may be other people or organizations that feel stuck on an issue. No matter how many great ideas that they have, they are not able to make any progress towards resolution due to limited resources. However, combine what you have with what they have, and then, you might be able to talk about the possibility of finding a mutual resolution to the complex issues that you are trying to resolve.

A few things that need to be kept in mind:

  1. You will never solve problems with a closed mind. Closed minds take nothing in, and share nothing. This is akin to the open-hand principle. You cannot receive if you hands are not open. If you hold on to tightly to what you have, your hands are not able to abundantly receive. With a closed mind, you don't grow.
  2. You don't need more stuff to solve your problems. You have everything that you need to solve the problems that you have been entrusted to. You simply need to be willing to excercise your creative muscle and make use of what you have. This is going to require you to perhaps do somethings that are completely crazy, heretical, and maybe even a little scary. But, you accepted the responsibility, so get over it and make a difference!
  3. You need more thoughts to solve your problems. Regardless of what you are going through, you need to have, at the very minimum, a sounding board that you can bounce ideas off of. You need people in your life that will hold you accountable, that will be completely honest with you, and that will even share ideas with you. You need people that are passionately bought into the mission that you exist for. They may not be necessarily bought into you or your organization, but they fully grasp and understand the mission and vision, and want to see it be successful. By the way, the worst thing that you can do with these individuals is to ignore them. Get them involved in the idea generating process, and listen to the thoughts and ideas that they have!

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