Key To Success

What do you do when you come across a key to success in a book you're reading? You ponder over it. Since I read many books and come across many keys, I thought it would be fun to share the ideas that arise as I contemplate a key to success. Reading is not just about absorbing information, it's also about contemplating, allowing the ideas to blossom within, and nurturing a seed tossed in the rich soil of the inner garden.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

I got my Master's degree in psychotherapy more than a decade ago. Since then I've studied the human condition with fascination. Over the years, I've learned a singular lesson: your life does not work when you oppose your soul nature. If you want a magical life, you have to drop your inauthentic transactions with the world. You discover your own power when you spend time alone to figure out what you really love to do.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

How To Solve Persistent And Frustrating Problems

"To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly,” said Henri Bergson.

Life is a creative act.

It is a series of events, one after another, and sometimes one over another.

Through this procession of things happening to us, we experience change—and hopefully, growth.

Maturity, however, is not assured. We may have to repeat the same thing over and over again. Yet we still don’t get it right.

When a chain of events that cause discomfort repeat in a circular pattern, we call them problems.

They can be infuriating...and extremely frustrating. The longer they continue, the less we know what to do about them.

For example--no matter how hard you work, you always end up with more month than money.

Or, no matter how hard you try to be patient, kind, and understanding, you always end up in a relationship with someone who is extremely difficult.

And so on. I think you get the point.

These are circular issues. You may change the job or the person—and yet, somehow, you end up in almost the same situation.

What is the solution?

It’s creativity.

It’s not about doing more or trying harder, nor is it even about soliciting an expert opinion—it’s about changing your mind, your circumstances, and your life by finding a new answer that specifically works for you.

Since, ultimately, you’re the final authority on your life—the best advice from an expert will be simply to point you to your own creativity. General advice may give you some direction, but you have to tailor it to your particular psyche for it to work.

Here, then, are three quick steps to becoming creative.

It does take some work, but not as much as staying stuck.

First, define the problem as clearly as you can. The length of words or quality of language you use doesn’t matter. Make it so plain and so obvious that anybody reading it would understand right away what is bothering you.

Second, step outside the problem and pretend to be someone else, an expert observer. Choose a known expert, either someone you personally know or a historical or famous personality. It has to be someone whom you highly respect. Now pretend to be them, to be inside their body and their mind as they review your problem and think about it.

Third, as this world-famous expert, make a list of all possible answers, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Brainstorm until you can’t come up with any more answers. Then take a long break and brainstorm some more.

Finally, turn it over to your unconscious. Your answer will come in an unexpected way. It may be something that you brainstormed—or it may be something else entirely.

You’ll know exactly what to do and how to do it.

Resource Box

Saleem Rana is a psychotherapist in Denver, Colorado. If you're up to the challenge and want to create the kind of freedom and lifestyle you truly deserve - starting now - then get his free book from


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