Problem Solving Strategy (I)

This technique is the first of a series of innovative problem-solving strategies. This one uses the power of metaphor. You will need to have a good handle on metaphor in order to do this pattern.

Select the problem, step into the problem position, associating into the problem.

Consider a problem that you feel you need to approach in a fresh way. Choose a location in front of you to step into, that you will anchor to this problem situation. Step into that position and associate into this problem, experiencing how it happens in first position (through your own eyes).

Step into a meta-position.

Select another position that will serve as your meta-position, where you will view the problem from a transcendent or distant position. Step into this position. 

Experience a rich resource from a resource position. 

Think of a resource situation that is unrelated to the problem. The situation should help you access a very rich and compelling resource state. For example, it could be an activity that gives you a strong sense of self, mission, creativity, or passion. Step into a new position that will now serve as your resource position. Fully associate into the resource experience.

Create metaphor for the problem, but that is based on the resource position.

Come up with a metaphor for your problem situation. In other words, create a new, fantasy problem that is a symbol for your real problem. Your new, fantasy problem should be inspired by the resource activity, its context, and your resource state. For example, if skiing was your resource activity, then a real problem such as difficulty concentrating could be symbolized by getting your skis crossed up. The ski problem is now a metaphor (symbol) for the concentrating problem.

Imagine solving the metaphoric problem. Observe the resulting changes in your experience.

Maintain your distance from the problem situation, and imagine solving the metaphoric problem. For example, you would come up with a solution to crossing up your skis by developing good coordination for parallel skis by focusing on controlling one of the skis so that the other naturally follows. Notice how this solution calls forth any changes in your physical state, internal strategies, TOTEs, and so forth.

From your meta-position, apply the metaphoric solution to the original problem.

Now step back into your meta-position. Explore how you would take the solution that you just created (for that metaphoric problem) and think metaphorically in order to translate it into a solution in the actual problem situation. For example, focusing on body language and controlling one of your skis to get parallel skiing is like clarifying your goals and reasons for focusing your mind on your studies. 

Step into the problem location and check for results.

STEP into the problem situation location, and see if you have dissolved your impasse. 

Repeat, using other resource states.

Repeat this process, using other resource states applied to the same problem. This brings in a variety of your resources so you approach the problem from very different angles.