Lateral thinking is the new mental literacy requirement for success. When we have done something the same way for a very long time, it is often the sign that something is not ok. We often have to dig deeper into a problem and come up with new methods and solutions.
Optimal and surprising results often come from a different line of thinking. Probably that’s why we already have plenty of quotes and slogans that invite us to change our way of thinking or doing things.
Think Different – Apple
If nothing goes right, go left – Unknown
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost
Lateral thinking is highly valued in business, but this quality can well apply to life beyond work. For example: in love matters and people relationships. What follows are 3 interesting stories in which a different manner of thinking has produced excellent results.
Pretend you are the protagonist of this story for a second. You are driving a car in the middle of a thunderstorm and you see three people on the sideway. You recognise that one is a friend who saved your life and hence to whom you are indebted. Next to him is an old lady who needs urgent help. A third person catches your eye because she/he is the partner of your dreams. They all need help, but you only have one other seat in your car. Who should you pick up?
The answer might not be the first obvious response. Rather the protagonist picked the old lady and gave the keys to the friend; after which he/she could stay with the ideal partner.
This story invited us to find solutions which leave us not with an “either/or” result, rather an “and” result. What can you do to achieve all the results simultaneously?
Holi is a spring color festival, people get painted and have fun. There was a boy whose skin was blue and was very anxious because the people did not like his color and did not appreciate it. What could he have done? Leave the festival and go away?
His mother instead told him: Go to the girl you like and paint her face with blue color. You will then have the same color and have fun with each other.
This story shows us we sometimes need to think differently when people reject us. Do we really need to change ourselves or get out of the way? Is there any other way to get accepted? What about influencing others?
It is known that Churchill has made a witty response to Nancy Astor during a party in which they were serving coffee.
Lady Nancy Astor: If I were your wife I would put poison in your coffee!
Churchill: And if I were your husband I would drink it!
Speaking is an essential part of relationships. This story is an example of how we could formulate our responses to leave a good impression to others.
Thinking beyond the usual might be hard, but definitely worth the effort. In the end, we can get amazing results in business and other areas of life.Do you use lateral thinking in love matters and relationships? If so, share your experience with me.If you liked these stories, feel free to re-read them anytime you please or share them with people you care. Just to satisfy you, here is a bonus story of a witty response that changed people’s impression.
Around 1970, when China was still very poor, famous American diplomat Henry Alfred Kissinger visited China and was received by Premier Zhou Enlai. During their encounter Kissinger asked: “How much money does China have?” Premier Zhou said, “Putting together China’s money we have a total of eighteen eighty eight.”
This clever response summed the bank denominations of the existing bills and coins. The largest one at that time was 10 yuan. Summing it up together with denominations of 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, 1 yuan, 2 yuan and 5 yuan, the result was “eighteen eighty eight”.