Imagine you live in an apartment, and just when you're going to sleep every night, the neighbor's infant is on the other side of your bedroom wall in the apartment next door, crying her heart out.
You can't sleep because you can hear the poor baby crying so loudly. Studies show one of the most upsetting sounds to most people is a crying baby. The baby is beside herself with anguish, wailing loudly in her loneliness night after night.
Imagine yourself in this situation. What would you do? Complain to the parents? Talk to the manager? Contemplate moving to another apartment building? Bang on the wall? Get earplugs?
A woman in this situation came up with a creative and actually fulfilling solution to this problem. She figured that since she could hear the baby so clearly, the baby would be able to hear her too. So she sang the child to sleep.
Isn't that beautiful? What a humane, creative, compassionate, and even satisfying solution!
Now think about a problem you have. Think of a problem that really has you pulling your hair out. And try to think of a solution that will not only solve it but creatively and compassionately fulfill you at the same time.
Can't think of a solution like that? Of course you can't! Good ideas usually take longer than three seconds to come up with.
In your spare time while driving and showering and doing the dishes, go over the problem in your mind, and don't just try to "solve the problem." Don't just try to figure out a way to make it go away. Come up with a creative, compassionate, and even fulfilling solution.
If you're in a hurry, use more than your spare time. Do some concentrated thinking on a constitutional or sitting still once or twice a day.
It may take you days or even weeks to think of one. But when you do, wow! You are on your way to becoming a true artist of life.
Adam Khan is the author of Slotralogy and co-author with Klassy Evans of What Difference Does It Make?: How the Sexes Differ and What You Can Do About It.