Help spread the fun - and learning - with FREE "Shake That Brain!" e-mail postcards. It's easy.

STEP #1: PICK A PICTURE
Click on any button to the right of a photo, then scroll down for Step #2.


TIP #1
BE OPTIMISTIC

The more you believe you can solve that problem,
the more you'll keep at it.


TIP #2
BE CLEAR

Write down your problem in the form of a clear,
concise question. And always pose that problem
at least two different ways.


TIP #3
ASK YOURSELF:
"WHAT'S THE OPPOSITE
OF MY QUESTION?"

Remember Tom Sawyer
and the fence that needed painting?
Instead of asking,
"How can I do all this work,"
he asked,
"How can someone else
do this fun?



TIP #4
QUESTION YOUR ASSUMPTIONS

"Do I have to leave through the door I came in?
Or is there another window of opportunity?"


TIP #5
PRACTICE PIE-IN-THE-SKY THINKING

Allow yourself to look for wild, outlandish ideas.
And remember the words of Albert Einstein:
"If at first an idea is not absurd,
then there is no hope for it.


TIP #6
THINK OF YOUR ABSOLUTE
WORST IDEA

Let others shout "That's the worst idea I ever heard!"
Freed from trying to come up with the best idea ever,
you might find that a terrible idea
can be tweaked into greatness.


TIP #7
BE PERSISTENT:
NEVER TAKE "YES" FOR AN ANSWER

Instead of saying "Yes, that's it!,"
learn to say, "That could be it."
Then discover some more solutions.



TIP #8
REFUSE TO ACCEPT
"EITHER/OR" THINKING
"Either/Or" thinking hems you in,
limiting your options way too severely.
Always look for a third, fourth and fifth alternative.
And think of a way to combine solutions.



TIP #9
ASK YOURSELF:
"WHAT WOULD __________ DO?"
Fill in the blank with the name of a
famous person. Or think of someone you
personally know and admire.
Try their way of thinking
and see where it gets you.



TIP #10
ASK SOMEONE ELSE
Want some fresh, new ideas?
Ask other people what they would do.
No one said you had to go it alone.


TIP #11
WALK AWAY FROM IT
Take a walk, do the treadmill, take a shower.
A change of scenery, plus a physical activity,
will often help to solve that problem of yours.



TIP #12
HAVE FUN WITH IT
Problem solving demands a sense of fun.
That's what gets our creative juices flowing.
Remember: Problem solving... is a game!



BONUS TIP #1
GIVE YOURSELF TIME
Great ideas can't be rushed.
Give yourself the time you need.

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