Do you ever get stuck on a creative problem?
Trying to come up with the next brilliant business idea that's going to change the world? Blah.
Want to put your personal spin on an existing idea so that you can make it fresh and new? Ick.
Writing ANOTHER article? Booooo.
It sucks. It's hard. It drives you mad. It makes you want to quit.
Honestly... There are so many problems to solve and things to do, that you just want to take a nap. It would be so much easier to fall asleep and let all of your worries drift away.
But, when you wake up... Your creative problems are still there. Unsolved. Unanswered. Staring menacingly at your face and laughing at your creative incompetence.
How do we solve our creative problems? How do we come up with "the BIG Idea"? And how do we get past our mental blocks?
Whenever I get stuck, I remind myself of the story behind Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich.
It turns out, that one of the founders of the modern personal development movement, also dealt with creative blocks of his own.
In fact, It almost ruined him before he got started.
Here's The Story Behind Think and Grow Rich.
Napoleon Hill was in big trouble.
He finished the manuscript for his book, but couldn't come up with the "Million Dollar" title his work needed.
Hill created more than 500 different titles and none of them were good. None were able to capture the message and the essence of his words. Even worse, his publisher was growing frustrated with his lack of decisiveness and inability to pick one. Things dragged on.
Finally his publisher, growing impatient and angry called him and said "If you can't think of anything better by tomorrow, I'm going to call it Use Your Noodle and Get the Boodle".
Think about that for a second. The most famous personal development book of all time (It's sold more than 70 million copies) was almost titled Use Your Noodle and Get the Boodle.
Hill was on the clock -- he had less than 24 hours to come up with the name for his book. His mind ran through thousands of combinations and he wrestled with it until the point of exhaustion.
Growing frustrated and unable to break the creative block, he gave up. He threw his hands in the air, quit, went to bed and fell asleep.
He was doomed.
But, something happened. At 2:00 AM in the morning he woke with the “million dollar” title in his mind... Think and Grow Rich.
Just like that, his creative spark returned and he had the "million dollar" title. His fortunes changed and he went on to be a leader in the field of personal development.
Hill had tapped into the power of his subconscious creative mechanism and it launched his career.
You Can Do It Too
We've all experienced that "Aha! Moment" at one time or another.
Remember the time you came up with the solution to the problem that was driving you crazy? Were you in a state of light sleep? Or in the shower? Or having an unrelated conversation with a friend?
This superpower seems to work randomly and infrequently at best. Most people call it serendipity and think it can't be harnessed and controlled.
But! What were going to discuss next is a variation of the method Hill used. You can implement this method into your daily habits and become a creative problem solving machine. We're going to build on the established techniques that have been used by top entrepreneurs like Hill and Thomas Edison for Millennia to blast through their creative blocks and discover their "Big Ideas".
Finally! The Napoleon Hill Method For Subconscious Creative Problem Solving
Here's how it works:
Step 1: Write It Down.
When you are stuck, your natural tendency is to try and push through the creative block using teeth gritted willpower and effort. This rarely works.
For this method, we're going to take the opposite approach.
Get a real notebook and a real pen. Keep your phones, tablets and computers out of sight and out of mind (exposure to light from your screen will prevent you from getting into deep sleep as it interferes with your bodies natural production of melatonin).
Take your pen and notepad and write down the following 3 questions with a few lines under each for writing:
What was the problem I faced today?
What result or outcome do I want tomorrow?
Eureka Moment! Great Ideas/ Solutions / Connections
NOTE: Focus on ONE problem only. This doesn't work well with multiple creative problems clogging your mind. It's like two sumo wrestlers trying to walk through a doorway at the same time. Single file works best!
Step 2: Answer the first two Questions.
A short sentence or a few descriptive words will do. Leave the last question open and unanswered. Save this part for later.
Your goal here is to not try and "solve" the problem but rather present it to your subconscious and prime all of those neural connections. You simply state the problem and write the result you want.
Trying to "solve" the problem may cause you to spend the rest of the night wrestling with potential solutions. You want your subconscious to do the heavy lifting it for you.
The entire process should take you less than 5 minutes. When you are finished, breath deeply for 5 minutes, relax and go to sleep.
Step 3: When Brilliance Strikes, Write It Down.
As you drift into a light sleep, your brain slips into a super creative state where your brain is no longer bound by conventional thinking. You are free to make creative associations, impressions -- you think in images, metaphors and make new connections.
Think of it like a primordial soup of creative thought where anything becomes possible. It's the brain state where many creative thinkers and entrepreneurs have found their "Big Idea".
When you discover your "Big Idea" (like Napoleon Hill), write it down. Often times a few words or a hand sketch will do.
After waking, see what you wrote and continue refining your idea.
Get Unstuck. Dream. And Grow Rich
The Napoleon Method is a creative paradigm busting tool. It should be part of every top performers arsenal of tools.
So... The next time that you are on the verge of discovering your "million dollar idea", you'll be ready.
 Hill, N., & Pell, A. R. (2005). Think and grow rich: The landmark bestseller--now revised and updated for the 21st century. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin.
 Maltz, M. (1960). Psycho-cybernetics: A new way to get more living out of life. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
 Maltz, M. (1989). Psycho-cybernetics program your automatic guidance system for success. Irwindale, CA: Psycho-Cybernetics.