Friday, March 4, 2011

Guest Blogger: How Do You Employ Creative Thinking to Solve Problems? by Author Sandy Sims

Today's special guest is Sandy Sims, author of How Frank Lloyd Wright Got Into My Head, Under My Skin and Changed The Way I Think About Thinking: A Creative Thinking Blueprint for the 21st Century.

"Do you feel overwhelmed by the pace of change, or powerless in the face of uncertainty? Do you wish you had a more useful point of view, or better strategies to cope? And even when you have obtained a dream or a goal, have you ever felt let down because it did not bring you the joy you thought it would? These are universal feelings, yet how we approach them is unique to each of us. Many years ago, author Sandy Sims found himself asking these same questions while directing a Honolulu advertising agency. Though considering himself to be quite average, he had cultivated two particularly useful traits – an abiding curiosity, and the desire to check things out for himself. A health crisis set off a cascade of events and a girlfriend-surgeon-turned-psychiatrist rewired his brain, sending him tumbling down the proverbial “rabbit hole” into new realms, where he became open to trying out new thinking patterns and recording the results. Over the next several years there was fire-walking, spoon-bending, and trips to Peru and Brazil where psychic surgeons stuck knitting needles through his liver — forcing him to accept almost in disbelief that we can be in different realities at the same time. Into his life poured mystics, shamans, a Kahuna, an ethnobotanist, channels, luminaries, scientists, and even an astronaut. The Caddy family, founders of the Scottish Findhorn Spiritual Community (noted for growing forty- and fifty-pound vegetables from the snow), regularly came and stayed with him. He cautiously tested these new thinking patterns, raising the bar slowly, and then testing again and again — until one compelling “aha” idea drove him to attempt to build a collection of the designs of one of America’s greatest architects, Frank Lloyd Wright. In so doing, he discovered that we are more the architects of our lives than we think; that what we call luck, chance, and coincidence are more design than not; and that “Invisible Partners” can make our ordinary lives extraordinary, no matter what the situation, when we are willing to engage, trust and nurture this partnership. This is a watershed time in history, an era in which we are becoming more aware of how powerful our minds are. It is a time when not only how to use our minds, but what to think about, will determine the elegance of our lives. A compelling read for those drawn to the journey of human potential." --Amazon description

How do you employ creative thinking to solve problems? by Sandy Sims

I feel that solving problems can best be approached by setting the right context. For me, this context is acknowledging that our connection to the great collective unconscious is a two way hook up, and from that bond all novel expressions arise.

The question then is how do you best access this unconscious mind?

The first step is to determine the key or core question surrounding the problem. There are many questions you could be asking but are they the basic question or questions surrounding the core question? A core question is not necessarily that obvious. For example you could be focused on acquiring some object like a house or car or different job because you think it will further you along a career path and that will make you happier. So the core question might not be how best to obtain the object of your immediate desire, but rather how to best find happiness. Focusing on this first may give you a much better direction.

Therefore my very first step is to ask intently and continuously to find the core question regarding any situation, trusting that the answer will appear whether definitively or intuitively. Next, use that core question as the contextual basis for all investigation to reach a next step or a final solution.

The second step is to determine when you are going to start asking this question. I maintain that you want to start this process in yourself as soon as you can-long before any formal meeting if at all possible.

This sets the contextual stage for the next step. It may even solve the problem. You may then engage with others using rationale analysis, brainstorming, and other techniques.

For example let us say you are a manager in a company and you have a chronic conflict between two employees to resolve. Your first inclination might be to think, “How can I help patch up a difference between these two people?” If however you ask yourself the core question, upon reflection it might be, “What is the best outcome for all concerned?” With this question as the basis then a broader stage is set: it not only involves the two employees but the welfare of the company as well. Maybe instead of trying to patch things up it becomes clear in the ensuing process that the best outcome is for one of the people to leave. The loss of that person might cause a certain immediate burden, but his or her replacement could turn out to be a huge improvement and the person leaving may have actually wanted a change but lacked the initiative.

Frequently a problem involves how to create something new which is going to involve brainstorming with others. In this case when you do meet, your unconscious mind has already been long at work. Then you are prepared as a participant for either a solution or the very next step as a member of the team.

Some of the greatest minds, no doubt, live their life in a perpetual question, such as “Is the contemplated action supporting my highest and best purpose?”

For more information about Sandy Sims and How Frank Lloyd Wright Got Into My Head, Under My Skin And Changed The Way I Think About Thinking, A Creative Thinking Blue Print For the 21st Century, visit and visit this page to get the Amazon links

Sandy Sims was raised and educated in the South. After serving as Naval Officer and finishing graduate business school, he followed a dream to live in Honolulu where he built one of Hawaii's most successful advertising agencies.

The crisis of personal health and business setbacks opened the way to larger spiritual dimensions including a long association with the Caddy family, founders of the Findhorn Spiritual Community in Scotland His book,”How Frank Lloyd Wright Got Into My Head, Under My Skin And Changed The Way I Think About Thinking, A Creative Thinking Blue Print For the 21st Century,” is a memoir of his journey culminating in a 20 year project with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

He has collaborated with Psychiatrist, Kerry Monick MD, and authored Creative Thinking For The 21st Century, An Experiential Guidebook. Accepting the science that our intention does indeed affect the material world, it addresses what to be thinking about, how to shape these thoughts, and what might be the best way to avoid unintended consequences.

When not travelling, Sandy resides in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where you can find him writing, playing tennis, poking around with his camera and embracing a new culture.



creative said...

Hi Cheryl,

Many thanks for your post on my book.I hope your readers will enjoy this story and perhaps the guidebook, done with my psychiatrist, pal, Kerry. All the best, Sandy

creative said...

Hi Cheryl,

Many thanks for your post on my book.I hope your readers will enjoy this story and perhaps the guidebook, done with my psychiatrist, pal, Kerry. All the best, Sandy