- Change your language from negative to positive:
The more positive your language is, the more confident and optimistic you will be when approaching any difficulty, and the more creative and insightful you will be in identifying solutions and breakthrough ideas.
- Define your situation or difficulty clearly: What exactly is the challenge you are facing? What is causing you the stress and anxiety? What is causing you to worry? Why are you unhappy? Write it out clearly in detail. Sometimes what you are worrying about is what is called a ‘cluster problem’. It is a series of small problems clustered together. You need to sort them out and define them separately.
- Ask, ‘what else is the problem?’: Don’t be satisfied with a superficial answer. Look for the root cause of the problem rather than getting sidetracked by the symptom. Approach the problem from several different directions.
- Ask, ‘ what are my minimum boundary conditions?’: what must the solution accomplish? What ingredients must the solution contain? What would your ideal solution to this problem look like? Define the parameters clearly.
- Pick the best solution by comparing your various possible solutions against your problem on the one hand, and your ideal situation on the other. What is the best thing to do at this time under the circumstances?
- Before you implement the decision, ask ‘what’s the worst possible thing that can happen if this decision doesn’t work?’
- Set measures for your decision: How will you know that you are making progress? How will you measure success? How will you compare the success of this solution against the success of another solution? If you decide to sell or market your product or service in a particular way, how will you know that you have made the right decision? How will you define a success? Make it measurable; then monitor it on a regular basis.
- Accept complete responsibility for implementing the decision. If you don’t have time to follow through yourself, you might want to delegate responsibility for the implementation of the action steps. Many of the most creative ideas never materialize because no one is specifically assigned the responsibility of carrying out the decision.
- Set a time range for implementation. A decision without a time range is a meaningless discussion. If it is a major decision that will take some time to implement, set a series of short-term goals that will lead you to eventually achieve your main goal and a schedule for reporting.
- Take action. Get busy. Get going. Develop a sense of urgency. The faster you move in the direction of your clearly defined goals, the more creative you will be, the more energy you will have, the more you will learn, and the faster you will develop your capacity to achieve even more in the future.
The world is full of creative individuals who have wonderful ideas. But almost all of them fall short when it comes to implementation. And this is where you can excel. The future belongs to the creative minority who do not only think like innovators, but also take action and put their ideas into effect.
You can solve any problem, overcome any obstacle, or achieve any goal you set for yourself by using your wonderful creative mind and then taking action consistently and persistently until you attain your objective. Success is the mark of a creative thinker, and when you use your ability to think creatively, your success can be unlimited.
[Excerpt from Dream Big Dreams; Brian Tracy & Andrew Wood]