I got this tip from James Altucher’s book Choose Yourself. If you can solve problems then you will likely go very far in life. To me, life seems like a continuous set of problems that we have to overcome in order to move up to the next level.
Just like in a video game, you can’t move up to the next level until you have figured out how the current level works. That is just like life. But aren’t some people better than others at solving problems? And aren’t those the people that get ahead?
Well, there may be some truth in this, but even if you’re not a great problem solver you can make yourself one.
In James Altucher’s book, he suggests coming up with 10 ideas every day for the next six months. Just like going to the gym will build your physical muscles, coming up with 10 ideas a day will build up your idea muscle or problem-solving muscle.
If you have a problem in life but don’t know how to fix it, it’s likely because you’re just not used to solving problems. Maybe you can come up with one or two solutions that aren’t great and then you give up.
The idea behind coming up with 10 ideas a day is that you get used to thinking about these things, so when you actually need to solve a real problem you’ll be much more effective.
Many people don’t have enough money and that can be a big problem for them. But why don’t they come up with a solution to earn more? Well, probably they did think of a couple of ways but they weren’t effective. They then probably gave up and accepted the fact that they will never have enough money.
I was in this situation myself and over time have come up with over 100
ways to make extra money and I use many of them today. So, for the next six months, write down 10 ideas every day on a specific topic. The first few
ideas will likely be easy, but then you’ll really have to think hard in order to come up with 10.
That is the part that pushes you to think up novel solutions. And that is what gets you good at problem-solving. The ideas can be on anything. For example, 10 ideas to make $100 extra next month, 10 ideas to have a better sex life, and 10 ideas to fit more exercise into your day.
It doesn’t matter what you choose, as it’s coming up with the 10 ideas that counts. It doesn’t matter if some of these ideas are silly or not, but they should be at least somewhat practical. You don’t have to act on the ideas. This is just an exercise to get you thinking creatively.