According to a news report, a certain private school in Sydney recently faced a unique problem.
A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. After they put on their lipstick, they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints. This was very very exciting to the girls.
It is not easy to remove the lipstick prints from a mirror. Every night, with a lot of effort, the maintenance man would remove them. He was a responsible person and it was his responsibility to keep the toilets neat and clean. However, unmindful of the efforts of the maintenance man, the very next day, the girls would put their lip prints back again. Repeated appeals by the maintenance man had no effect on our princesses. Finally the principal decided that something had to be done.
She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the maintenance man who had to clean the mirrors every night – (you can just imagine the yawns from the little princesses). To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required. He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the TOILET, and cleaned the mirror with it.
Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror!
I bet either you are smiling or you are laughing right now. This is called creative solving.
Now and then in life, we face issues that frustrate us. When the known approaches do not work, the frustrations increase. When people do not co-operate, anger begins ruling us. When we expect people to understand our difficulties yet they nonchalantly ignore it thereby increasing the complexities of our work, anger, frustration, feelings of revenge, need to hurt others, behaving badly, resorting to other ugly approaches, rears its ugly head.
The principal would have been tempted to throw tantrums. She would have been tempted to scream, shout and yank the devil out from little princesses. She would have been tempted to punish them and ‘teach’ them a lesson.
She did none of that. She did creative solving.
I know it is difficult to face these situations. I have been through enough of them.
The above story is a classic example. So is the story below.
Destructive approach devolves. Creative approach solves.
And yes, when relaxed, creative solutions emerge easier. Otherwise, in a disturbed state of mind, more or less, destructive ideas will emerge and submerge us.
Our darling son Neeraj was not interested in studies.
I went with him to meet Mr Mane who washes our car. On inquiry, we (Neeraj and I) found, Mr Mane washes our car because he did not study well. Hence no ‘good’ job was available. We
( Neeraj and I) proceeded to meet the 68 year old watchman of our building Mr Upadhyaya who similarly expressed that at his old age he still works because he could never save enough money as he was uneducated and therefore could never make enough money.
No words were exchanged between Neeraj and me. From that day onward we (my darling wife Bharathi and I), never ever had to ask Neeraj to sit to study. Totally self driven he scored 94.4 % in his board exams.
The above approaches were creative approaches. The above ones might work for you too. They may not! The point is, we need to be creative and never destructive when solving issues.
Remember Shivaji’s escape from Agra when he was imprisoned by Aurangzeb? Creative solution, wasn't it? That’s the way to go! Well well well, if you do not know of that incident, be creative and find it out.
Identify any issue that is a thorn in your life today. Relax. Relax a little more. And now, think about creative ways to solve it.
We would love to read about creative ways in which you have solved issues in your life. Very soon, we will be bringing out a book on creatively solved situations.
Who knows, a part of your life story might be what will make the book complete?
With loads of love, prayers and best wishes,