Have you tried looking right in front of you?
Where do you search for answers? They can turn up in the most surprising of places!
The hard part to comprehend is that we often have the answers within us, we truly know what to do (or what we’re looking for, etc.). But we’re in our own way. The classic example is the PIN code for your bank account. You’re in front of the ATM and if someone put a gun to your head (well, maybe especially if someone put a gun to your head … ), you can’t “remember” your PIN code. You know the drill. You can this this method:
The Hard Way
- Think harder!
- Take a deep breath and then repeat step #1.
- When that doesn’t work, get frustrated and berate yourself for “forgetting” your PIN code.
- Stare blankly at the keypad.
- Tap in what you’re pretty sure are the wrong numbers, but you feel like you have to do something.
- Repeat #4.
- Repeat #2 (which brings you back to #1) then you’re at #5 and if you do this one more time, you know that the monster in the machine might eat your card.
- You walk away.
The Easy Way
The Easy Way is actually hidden in The Hard Way.
- Walk away.
You could go The Hard Way route and get to #8 and you’ll have the same outcome. Of course, most of us are so stubborn and think, “I know this! What’s wrong with me?” so we’ll try the hard way and might add a few more steps in there (kick the wall, swear at machine, excuse yourself to people behind you, etc.). Or you could just go The Easy Way.
The best part about The Easy Way is that it actually takes less time, incites zero stress and you can even get another errand done (say, order a burrito). You order the super chorizo with sour cream and guacamole and just as you’re about to take your first bite … you remember your PIN code.
I could make this post a whole lot longer and probably get into the science of it and dig inside your brain and all that, but you don’t need that, do you? You know what to do–it’s just that you don’t do it. Of course, I don’t mean just you, but you plural, like we, like me, you, all of us. We take The Hard Way because we’re stubborn, don’t remember to learn from our mistakes and just can’t believe we can’t do something proactive about it. We’ll get there.
The Blender, The Chain Saw and IKEA
Wow, that’s one of the worst possible film titles of all time. It’s not even a B movie … anyway.
I love smoothies. I even secretly get my kids to eat healthier thanks to my smoothies. Here’s my issue:
My blender is as loud as a chain saw.
Maybe more like a gas-powered lawn mower. But a chain saw or lawn mower in your kitchen. It’s bad. My dog finds the furthest place in the house away from the racket. It only last 45 seconds (on extra smoothie mode), but it’s brutal. Here are a few ideas I’ve had over the past months:
- Buy an encasement for the blender. Downside: It’s $199. That’s more than my current blender costs and a season of fresh mangos.
- Bring the blender into the bathroom. Or just leave it there. Downside: knives and banana peels weren’t going over well with the rest of the family.
- Cover it with a towel. Downside: only mildly dampens the noise. Concerned about fire or smoldering fabric next to powerful motor.
- Cover it with lots of towels. Maybe a comforter, too. Downside: have to borrow comforters from sleeping kids. Sleep at least as important for them as secret green ingredients.
- Buy a different blender. Downside: slightly quieter and cost as much as a trip for 4 to Barcelona.
- Give up.
#6 was the winner–or loser, depends on the perspective. Then we installed a new kitchen. In a corner of the kitchen is a gas meter and they had to make a little secret area behind a panel to leave it be and hide it from view (it’s ugly). But the door can be opened and behind it is also a plug for the dishwasher. It came to me in a flash:
- Plug behind secret wall.
- Secret wall removable and space under for a thin cable.
- Area in front deep enough for blender.
I admit, I’m easily amused. I think it’s yet another secret to living a life beyond normal understanding of joy. I later purposely turned on the blender and closed the door when my son came walking into the kitchen. He heard it, but wasn’t annoyed by it. Even my dog wasn’t running for cover. My son looked around, opened the dishwasher and finally found it. Less-than-easily-amused, he said, “Oh, you put it in there. Cool.” Hey, I’ll take all of the praise I can get. I’m pretty sure they’re coming for the Nobel Peace Prize, but it’ll probably be a few weeks still.
I took my attention off of the problem and then my solution was better than all of my other attempts combined. It took (unconscious and conscious) thought combined with time, patience and I actually no longer cared about the outcome and that’s when it happened. The answer was right in front of me the whole time.
P.S. I’m filing this under both “creativity” and “cocktails.”