Got a Problem? Solve it With Opposite-Thinking.Submitted by chris cudnoski on Tue, 02/12/2013 - 02:39
(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?
You own a business and have frequent 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.