Dan Naden

Clear Your Mind by Writing It Out

Ever have a problem? Sure, we’ve all had our share of blocks. Perhaps you take various routes to solving your woes. Some may scream loud enough to rustle birds from trees. Others many punch a wall, thinking that anger and knifing pain will clear up a struggle.

Talking to a friend is always good medicine. No matter how unique and specific our ailment, there are others, probably close friends and family, who’ve hit a similar roadblock.

Prayer is a solid approach. Putting your fears and frustrations into the hands of a higher power could be just what you need to get unstuck.

Getting the problem on paper makes it real – and solvable.

What’s worked for me? Writing. The old fashioned way on a piece of paper. Turn off the devices for 15 minutes and try answering the following questions:

  • What the problem? Be as specific as you can – get it all out on paper in as much detail as you’d like. Don’t hold back.
  • How can you solve this problem? Spill every possible solution onto the page. List out every angle – even the most far-fetched, ‘out there’ approaches. If you are lucky, the most reasonable and effective solution will jump to the forefront. If not, keep getting the solutions on paper until the right one appears.

So let’s try this?

  • What’s the problem? I used to be an avid reader. Now, it’s been years since I read my last book. I want to read more books.
  • How can you solve this problem?
    • Sleep less
    • Read over my lunch break at work
    • Curb social media and use the time to read
    • Join a Book Club, a group of people might help me stay accountable
    • Stop watching late-night television shows
    • Take public transportation to work and read while in transit
    • Give up a few other ‘hobbies’ (playing piano, watching football, playing fantasy football) and dedicate that time to reading

You get the idea. This list could get longer. Problems become real, manageable and solvable when you get them out in the open. When you write, everything’s out in the open – and it’s refreshing to see how many options you really have to solve the gnarliest, thorniest problem. So what you are waiting for? Your notebook is open and there are a few open pages. Start problem-solving now.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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