Imagine you are standing at the entrance of a maze, and observing all of the possible paths that may or indeed may not lead to the only exit.
Before your excursion to intentionally lose yourself, you received a bit of advice from a friend about which set of directions you should take in order to free yourself from the closed bounds of the potential prison. Imagine further that you are able to, before entering the maze itself, catch a bird’s eye view of the entirety of the maze. In so doing, you realize something important. All of the twisting and turning and potential pathways are inefficient, and a single, not described to you on the outset of your journey, pathway emerges to you like the last cupcake in a batch. After your epiphany, you simply walk around the maze and take your prize at the exit. The puzzle has been solved in your own way.
Rather than binding yourself to the rules of a system, that is to say the rules of a maze, the problem was solved in your mind with an intrinsic knowledge and insight that lead to a more elegant solution. Much of developing one’s intelligence involves finding new ways to solve problems that have long since existed. In the spirit of this theme, I offer a candle in the dark. Go out and purchase a children’s playbook, and be sure that it contains as many “Connect the Dots” puzzles as possible. Upon looking at one of these puzzles, your mind will immediately recognize their simplicity from the obviousness of the intended image to the fact that the dots are typically numbers in an arithmetic sequence for one to follow. To combat this, your first step will be to remove the numbers as effectively as possible. A black magic marker works well, if you are running low on monkey blood. Next, try to shut off the Gestalt reasoning that is occurring naturally. See the dots for what they are, and not what the artist intended. In other words, look beyond the image and try to see something new. Finally, connect the dots in a new, artistically unintended, way to make your own image. Do not worry about using all of the dots, or the beauty of the picture as this exercise is about consciously manipulating a subconscious process and your success will occur in the mind, and not necessarily on paper.
My only warning is this, be careful with the books you buy as a paper cut from that recycled paper they use to make children’s activity books these days stings like you’re admitting you’re wrong.