How do you solve a problem? Obviously you would try different things depending on the problem you’re facing, but I bet your first step is almost always to sit down and think about it. You might try to break the problem down into smaller parts to analyse, or you might look back to similar problems you’ve tackled before.

Whatever your approach it will be firmly rooted in your rational, analytical, conscious mind, but is this the best way?

Only around 2% of our thoughts, experience and understanding is actually formed in words, within the conscious part of our mind. The other 98% is made up of continual sensory impressions and associations in the subconscious. And because of this vast amount of live sensory data and raw processing power the truth is the subconscious is a much more powerful problem solving tool than the conscious mind.

Here is a simple technique that is often used in hypnotherapy sessions to engage the subconscious mind. Try it out and see the power of the subconscious for yourself.

Three Magic Doors

Start out by think of a small problem you want to change. Perhaps you are stuck on something at work or there is someone you want to get along with better.

Now close your eyes and imagine there are three doors in front of you: The first one has a sign hanging above it that says, 'The Usual Way', the second one, ‘Someone Else’s Way’ and the final door has a sign, 'A Crazy Way!'

In a moment you are going to imagine walking through one of those doorways and allow your subconscious to present you with its solution to your problem.

Before you walk through, take a moment to just look around at the room you are in, What does the room look like? What are the doors made of? What colours are they? etc. These kind of questions prepare your conscious mind to take in all the details of the experience the subconscious is about to present you with and also gives your subconscious a little time to work on the problem you want a solution to.

If you feel you are drawn to one of the doors, notice which one it is. This is a good indicator of how you like to approach problem solving.

When you are ready imagine opening your chosen door and walking through.

Don’t try to visualise something in particular just allow your unconscious to create an experience behind that door. This is the best way to trigger those eureka moments. As you go through the door try to become aware of al the details of the sensory experience; What do you see, hear, smell and feel? Is there anything else you didn’t notice at first?

In your conscious mind you might not instantly recognise the answer to your problem, so don’t be afraid to ask follow up questions of your subconscious while you’re in the experience. Asking 'how does this experience help me?' or 'what new ideas does this give me?' and watching how the visualised scene changes can be very helpful.

When you are ready, slowly open your eyes. It can take a little bit of practice but you will find this a powerful problem solving method. And remember if you want to consider a different solution you can always go back and try one of the other doors!

Author's Bio: 

Nick Madge is an expert in Accelerated Learning and Cognitive Enhancemnt.

Visual thinking techniques like the three doors exercise above can improve your problem solving, creativity and can be combined with other exercises to increase your general intelligence. You can keep up to date with all the latest research, techniques and technologies that can be used to improve your intelligence at his blog
And best of all it’s all free!