1 Stay calm.
2 Be true to yourself and remind yourself of your original objective.
3 Think of three different ways of approaching the situation and see if one of them is helpful.
4 Imagine what a practical or theoretical person (whichever you are less of) would do in the situation.
5 Go and watch carefully while someone else tackles the same issue and learn from them. (Remember, it is not cheating but a sign of intelligence to imitate others.)
6 Find out what experts in the field do in this situation by telephoning them, emailing them, or looking it up in a book.
7 Ask someone who apparently knows nothing about the details of what you are doing but who may inject some common-sense advice or get you thinking differently.
8 Search for guidance on the internet.
9 Come back to the problem at a different time of day.
10 Ponder whether it is the right thing to be continuing with your learning: occasionally it will be smarter to reflect on what you have learned and do something else.
Some people consciously create difficulty. Joyce Taylor is a good case in point. She says:
I actively enjoy difficulty and stress, indeed I create it by leaving things to the last minute.
By doing this, Joyce finds that she can be more creative. I share her approach, finding that, provided I have set my mind to process a problem or issue, I am much more likely to find an imaginative approach if I keep myself open to different possibilities for as long as possible.
In the next chapter you can find out more about how to harness your creativity, and in Part III you can read more about how to use your learning to help you adapt and change.
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The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave several of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness too much to do and not enough time; the pressure to produce and check off items on our to-do list by each day’s end seems to decide the direction and quality of our existence for us.