In a recent episode of On Being with Krista Tippett, the guest, Ellen Langer, describes a mental framework she recommends.
Rather than asking "can I do X?", ask yourself "how can I do X?"
She sums it up nicely:
When you ask yourself 'how do you do something?', you are bypassing your ego in some sense, you are just out there examining, fiddling with things, trying to find the solution. If you ask yourself 'can you do it?', then all you can appeal to is the past.
Thinking creatively about the "how" takes practice. That part of our brain is a muscle, which needs daily exercise to be at peak performance.
I agree with Ellen. And I also think it's important to precede the "How" with the "Why." Otherwise we risk spending our time solving the wrong problems.
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