Today we ask that you stop thinking about your problems.

To many, this may sound like terrible advice.  How will your problems ever get solved, if you do not think about them?

But the truth is, thinking rarely solves problems.  At best, thinking tends to solve one problem, only to create another.

Do you know how problems are best solved?

Through flashes of insight.

Some people call this “thinking outside the box.”

But really, it is not “thinking” at all — at least, not the way you think of it.

Most creative people can confirm this.

A common question posed to artists goes something like: “How did you think that one up?”

This is not an answerable question, if the artist creates from a place of true inspiration.  Inspiration simply comes, from a wordless place.  It is not “thought up.”

The same is true for physicists, mathematicians, and scientists.  The great leaps never come from thought alone.  They come from a deeper place.

What is true for artists and physicists is true for everyone else, all the time.

Insight is not limited to the creation of works of art, and physics theories.

Any problem, no matter how small, can be addressed through insight, not thought.

This happens when you decide to stop grinding away at a problem, or banging your head against a wall.

When you feel frustrated with a problem, the best thing to do is back off.

Relax.  Calm your mind.  Move on to other tasks.  Focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t do.

Let it go.

If you really can do this, sooner or later, a flash of insight will come.   

You will “think outside the box.”  And the answer will usually be more elegant and intelligent than anything you could ever grind your way through.

That is why the Tao Te Ching says:

“Stop thinking, and end your problems.”

It is literally true, as counterintuitive as it may sound.

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