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Creative Problem Solving In Everyday Life

Creative problem solving, if one observes closely, is something everyone follows-- all they need is an eye for detail and a little faith.

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People often tend to underestimate themselves and think that there is either a gap of knowledge or capability between the famous creators and great inventors of time and the commoners. Addressing the same concern, Gary A. Davis in his book Creativity of Forever, said, "It is very unfortunate that the word creativity is too strongly associated with the possession of extraordinary, distinguished and highly visible talent. Being creative is not just about having exceptional artistic, literary, scientific or entrepreneurial talents but about being flexible, thinking out of the box, finding unique solutions to our problems."

Thus, all people need is to strive for it because there is no extraordinary factor required for an individual to be creative; they all have it in themselves, all it requires is faith and a little push to opt for a creative solution.

Human beings are born creators as they are constantly finding solutions to their problems. From creating scrumptious meals from raw ingredients to honing imaginative skills and making unique bed-time stories for the children and manifesting all their love into making cupcakes for the loved ones, people have been creating and inventing ever since their existence. The creative measures that one takes in their routine lives are not far from the creative ventures the masters have pursued.

According to Jeffrey Baumgartner,  “Creative problem solving is a simple process that involves breaking down a problem to understand it, generating ideas to solve the problem and evaluating those ideas to find the most effective solutions.” Highly creative people tend to follow a similar process in their heads, without actively thinking of it as it is more like a subconscious reflex. Below are the two widely used strategies for idea generation:

1. Adaptation:

To pick something that already exists and pursue enhancing it.

While creativity is tied to originality, in most of the definitions, functionality and improvement are two important factors to consider in the light of creativity. When Ariel in The Little Mermaid used a fork to comb her hair, she was being resourceful and creative, so are people when they make use of any resource to its utmost advantage, for example, the way they use socks as gloves in desperate cold times or use a key to open a tin cap-- they are being creative.

2. Analogical Thinking:

Analogical thinking is one of the most effective tools to generate innovative ideas.

It enables human beings to develop new ideas by transferring information from well-known domains and utilising them in novels and other pieces of creative writing. When faced with a new challenge, people remember how they had solved a different problem before, or how they observe another facing a problem and try to learn and apply it to resolve their own issues. Even though the process is spontaneous and random, it still stands to be a creative way.

For instance, people go for various hacks such as tying a handkerchief on the feet to keep the broken sole in place or simply by using prior knowledge to solve important concerns.

Creative problem solving, if one observes closely, is something everyone follows-- all they need is an eye for detail and a little faith. Humans do not lack creativity if they cannot draw, write a poem or choreograph a dance. Creativity is inherent and they use it to solve our everyday problems. With a little stretch and awareness, they can opt for enhancing it for greater efficiency as well.  As Edwin Catmull has rightly put, “For me, creativity includes problem-solving. That’s the broad definition of it!”

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Anju Modi

The author is Cofounder Cogitus, iPGCE ( UCL, UK). She is pursuing MA in Critical thinking and creative thinking ( UMASS, USA.), BA Hons ( DE Montfort university, UK)

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