How to solve your problems creatively and with travel
We all have our problems and issues, some of these are individual to us, whilst others are a collective dilemma. For some, these could be isolated issues, meanwhile, others are interlinked with multiple obstacles. There is no one 'right' way to solve a problem, which is why being creative in finding a solution is vital to achieving success. Recent studies have found an interesting link between travelling and creativity, and seeing as we all have our own set of problems that need solving, let's look at how we can get started!
Problem-solving with creativity and mastering the art of self-innovation
Creativity is the use of imagination and/or the ability to create something new and useful. Becoming innovative allows you to open up parts of yourself that were hidden, meanwhile projecting a positive and influential version of yourself to the world. Whilst it may not be your intention to become a role model for others, the results of self-innovation will ultimately lead you to become just that - a beacon of hope and an inspiration to others.
Before you can solve a problem, first you need to identify what the problem is and where the issue is stemming from. For example, you may be feeling isolated and frustrated with no progress in your life, but in order to gain clarity and a true perception of the problem, you would need to go deeper in your exploration of self.
You may be feeling isolated, but why? And, what would the opposite of isolation look like to you? What would you be or not be doing?
- Is there a problem? If yes, what is it - perhaps you could list these?
- Where is the problem? Is this a physical or tangible issue? Or could it be within your mind, or somewhere else?
- Whose problem is it? Do you need to be taking this problem on, or can you let this go and address something that is your concern?
Sometimes what we want to see is not what other people see. Therefore in order to fully understand the issue, you need to define what it really is and for who. Exploring new ways of thinking by asking good questions, or rephasing the ones you currently use, can shift the outcome in a new direction. Sometimes a change in the language used can illuminate something in an entirely new way.
Does travel solve your problems?
Travel does not solve your problems, you solve your problems. Travelling with intention helps you to grow as a person, you will begin to see the world and everyone in it in a new way and your capacity for solving problems becomes greater.
As much as we all wish a holiday could fix what we perceive to be broken, that is not how it works.
Travel is a journey of self-discovery, a creative solution to learning about yourself and how you cope with challenges and successes.
Travel, be it venturing to a new destination within your own country or a long-haul trip across the globe, helps to highlight problems, both within you and on a global scale, and as you begin to see things more clearly, as a human being you will naturally start to also see solutions.
Making assumptions about things, be it people, problems or situations, is a typical human reaction. The brain saves energy when it uses assumptions as it simply draws on past experiences to find patterns to ‘fix’ what needs fixing. These are not always helpful, however, the subconscious mind cannot differentiate between what is ‘helpful’ or ‘not helpful’. When we encounter new situations, or new problems, we habitually make an assumption to reuse what we already know and believe to be true.
When you travel you are already changing the patterns and exploring new thoughts, which highlight and challenge these assumptions, leading you to discover new ideas and solutions. Changing the way you think and breaking unhealthy thought patterns leads to a positive increase in your feelings of happiness around your health, family, friends, relationships, workplace and career, physical and mental health, ultimately opening doors to new opportunities and life experiences.
Taking a solution-focused approach to problem-solving
Once you have the problem identified, it is then time to move into the solution-focused phase where you establish your options and decide which one will be the best to solve your issue. This can be a case of thinking of many different ways and reviewing each one in order to discover the most effective route to ‘problem solved!’
Our world is made up of different people, with different ideas, experiences, outlooks, beliefs and perspectives. The world works more efficiently when all of those ideas and views are taken into consideration. Problems should be rewritten from several different perspectives in order to get an overall, more detailed report of what is really going on. Ask others around for their perspective on what’s going on. They may think they have the right answer and that is ok, you don’t need to do what others say, but there is huge value in understanding things from multiple perspectives.
Travel elevates this as you meet people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, learning new ideas and ways to solve problems. If you want to get started but have no idea where to begin, then talk to a travel coach - someone who is both professionally and personally experienced within this area.
It tends to be quite common behaviour to observe a problem and then want to jump in to fix it, however, identifying an issue then finding a solution requires you to truly understand all factors involved. Exploration of the world and exploration of your own mind are one and the same, and together form a beautiful relationship full of growth and positive change.
The final stage of creative problem solving requires implementing the ideas and making an actionable, goal-oriented plan. Solving a problem is not one size fits all model, it requires creativity and innovation in order to find the most suitable way forward. This is really fun to do, especially when you are travelling.
The inspiration that you absorb with each new landscape helps to create a shift in how you see everything and it is really fun too! Win-win!
Grow your thinking
What you think is not always the full story. Many problems are not isolated issues and can often be part of other problems so you need to expand your awareness of these issues in order to get to the source. One could try asking questions such as:
- What’s this connected to?
- What is this an example of?
- Where have I seen this before?
It really helps to shrink your environment temporarily too. When you break down a problem into smaller, manageable chunks, you are able to notice important statements within them.
Sometime’s looking at an open market filled with stalls and people, chatter everywhere and so many things happening to distract you from focusing on what you are trying to find, it is not easy to see the very small item that you need. But if you reduce the environment, take a deep breath and look at one stall at a time, you are not only more likely to find what you want, but also get it much quicker! Asking for help also saves so much time, so don’t hesitate to find someone who can guide you to where you need to be.
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