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Got a Problem? Solve it With Opposite-Thinking.

(This idea came from one of my many many Brian Tracy cassette tapes, so credit goes to him. The guy is such a genius that brilliant ideas like this one that are worthy of an entire tape course themselves get mixed in with all the other great things he has to say. Here is my take.)

Opposite Thinking is a method of problem solving and simple goal achievement that forces you to step back from your situation and view it from multiple angles. It consists of just one step that is repeated until desired results are attained. The single step is this:

What is your problem? What would its opposite be? What would the opposite of the opposite look like?

Example:

You own a business and have frequent discount sales. At first business was good at all times. PROBLEM: now stuff only moves when sale priced. You think that the customers may have felt alienated when they purchased it a full price and it was on sale a while later. You've got to promote the business and if sales won't work anymore then what is there to do?

What are you doing now? Having periodic unannounced sales. What would be the opposite of that? Not having any sales. Opposite of that? Have sales but announce them ahead of time? The opposite of that? Have sales but only announce them to regular customers. The opposite of that? Don't have sales but offer regular customers a discount card they can buy that will get them a discount year-round.

The solution - the discount card - may have arisen eventually via traditional brainstorming efforts, but with opposite thinking ideas present themselves to you.

As the saying goes, problems are just opportunities in work clothes. Like turning over a stone and revealing a diamond hidden underneath, turning your problems upside-down through opposite thinking can reveal solutions you never would have thought to look for.



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got a problem with trolls?

No you don't.

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What is the opposite of

repeatedly participating in electoral politics to get the same results?

setting up barricades around buildings known as frequent

Polling places?

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Opposite thinking saves the day once again.

A practical solution for a problem on the phone.

Say 'You can't hear me? Okay - I'll call you back."

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lightbulb

now i get it.

I wish there was a molemoticon I could insert here >> <<

Problem - obstacle, from proballein to throw forward

so literally it's something your mind throws ahead of you which you then have to figure out a solution to.

Sometimes people call something a problem when it's really an opportunity. Or a challenge. Or at the very least a learning experience. (channeling Tony Robbins here)...

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Worked out for George...

George Costanza Does The Opposite

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKUvKE3bQlY

I like the

rational behind opposite thinking problem solving, but the customer discount card was initiated for advertising. They take your name and address, sometimes phone # and email and then send you advertisements. Some companies also bundle their customers info and sell it to other corporations.

“When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.” – Dresden James

The discount card could easily have popped up in a

...traditional brainstorming process. But it would have just been one of many ideas with no context other than a vague connection to marketing a business.

But when it is arrived at through 4 opposites it has much more relevance to the intention behind the perceived problem. For some other business maybe it would be a horrible solution. This was a purely hypothetical example.

Another (which Brian used) is publishing a book. Hardcover books are expensive to produce and promote. So why not publish a paperback version first to build interest, then release the hardcover later when the book has developed a following? Opposite of that - don't make a hard copy first - sell online version first. Opposite of selling it? Give it away for free. With fiction you'd probably lose money or time doing this unless it's the next Harry Potter. But if it is information then a person might be cheaper off buying a copy instead of printing it out. A free ebook may end up turning out profitable with a reference book on, say, food storage or something. :)

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Cyril's picture

A simple tip/trick

Contributing, a simple tip/trick good to use by whoever can maintain (thoroughly) a CC budget with a small upper limit:

http://www.youtu.be/JJAdXIcfRAk

(except I don't condone avoiding to pay back)

Note: that's the only reason I still have one of those.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Cyril's picture

BUMP for smartness.

BUMP for smartness.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Brian Tracy is a genius.

Other than crossing the Sahara desert with a friend when he was 18 to see if they would live, all of his ideas are really good...

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We shop at Kohls frequently

We use their card for 15% off. But, it is a credit card. So you have to pay it off to realize the savings.

To my Liberal Trolls:
"Really Don't mind if you sit this one out. Your words but a whisper, your deafness a shout. I may make you feel, but I can't make you think."
Ian Anderson 1972

Great Post

Makes total sense

buddy