Keep learning, relax and find anything that challenges you to move forward

Looking for challenges

Challenges are around you, don’t ask for them…

When I was a child, I owned a few car toys that I really loved. There were not many, but the red one (a Lambo replica), would be a key part of many of my stories that I used to create in order to have fun. Now as a grown up, I admire those kids that take a box and suddenly are travelling to the space in their ships.

Imagination plays a key role when we are kids. Most of the games we play, come either from our imagination or someone’s else (but recreated to suit our needs). As soon as you start growing up, you start playing a really known game called life, which has its own rules. This game cannot be cheated… well, that’s what many people wants us to believe at least.

Once you get your first job, your mind goes to a state of obedience. You have to do this, you have to do that. This is for today, that is for yesterday and you just screwed someone’s schedule. This mentality comes from school. The basic goal from teachers is to make you learn to be responsible for your homework, while at the same time forming you in several aspects to be a good citizen.

Problem with the obedience approach is that your mind is constantly searching for orders. If you have no orders then that equals to free time, hurrah!

No, once you start growing up on your professional career, you will notice that those that do grow are not really waiting for orders. This is tagged by companies as a proactive person, while if you just start digging, you will find yourself flying a spaceship with a box once again.

Key part of being proactive comes from imagination. Your brain starts searching for what you know so far from an issue. Once it cannot find the right solution, it either sends you to a frustrating rant (I bet you have been there a few times!), or to a deep search on other potential solutions. Funny part? You never know if your brain took the latter path until you get to a solution, and by then, you treat that as an eureka finding.

Once your brain finds a solution, it is important that you take notes about it. Trust me, it won’t stay long on your memory. If you write down, you will notice that you will likely keep adding good ideas, just write them too. Some people prefer voice recordings, but for some reason I don’t find them as useful as written notes, so decide what fits best for you.

With that said, it is clear that you have now found a challenge. Oh, you think it’s solved already? Most likely not, your brain just connected dots and you can now work/learn/review what is required to complete the goal you have set yourself.

A good way of preparing your brain is to read… a lot. The brain is ready to connect dots on its own once it has information that may be suitable for the problem. The second component is to relax. The best way to achieve is thought to be by travelling but that can differ per person. In my case walking, cooking, taking a nap or even going to the bathroom (dead quite in there) is enough to relax myself and allow my brain to focus. Again, it depends mainly on you, and who knows better about that than yourself?

So, next time you look for a challenge, keep investing time becoming an expert on what you do (any job), and allow yourself some time to relax. Ideas will eventually appear and you will be able to create your own challenges… or you can just sit and wait for someone else to tell you what to do, it’s up to you to decide whether to be proactive or just someone that takes orders.