Seeking insight: what to do, to solve a difficult problem

Seeking insight: what to do, to solve a difficult problem
A person is not able to control neurons directly, but you can create ideal conditions for their work

Sometimes a difficult problem is literally bewildering: struggling with a decision, but nothing comes out. In the end you get distracted, you go for coffee and suddenly - here it is! The answer comes naturally, sudden insight. This is called insight.. Can I use it consciously?, as a tool for solving complex problems?

Инсайт и сложные ситуации

In fact, insight is not something out of the ordinary.. In fact, we have an ideal tool for solving complex and non-trivial problems.. The fact, that nonlinear problems, where there is no unambiguous solution, which can be remembered or calculated, traditional methods are not solved. But if you still try to analytically solve the nonlinear problem, the answer will be completely inappropriate for her.

At the same time, complex and non-trivial tasks arise constantly. Kenevin model, created by Dave Snowden of IBM and describing the state of the environment, clearly shows - any free market and any environment, person-related, Is a difficult environment, which changes rapidly and is influenced by many factors. For a modern person, this means, that in the overwhelming majority of cases we are faced with difficult situations.

For example, these are creative tasks, development of a new niche or activity, difficult or ambiguous choice, the result of which is not obvious. In such cases, it is useless to fight the problem with your "forehead", need insight. Not surprising, that almost a third of all people solve almost all problems through insights - while they themselves may consider themselves unassembled and lazy, because they cannot “just sit down at the table, work and come up with a solution ". In fact, they just have a different way of thinking.: unevenly, but during the period of activity, real breakthroughs occur.

Is it possible to control insights?

Unfortunately, No. You can't just take and tell the brain: "Hey, buddy, I urgently need insight!"From the point of view of biology, insight is the formation of a new connection in the brain.: multiple neurons make contact, build a new chain structure, which gives the solution.

A person is not able to control neurons directly, but we can increase the likelihood of insight, creating suitable conditions for this. This area of ​​brain science is fairly well understood., which gives the person a clear pattern of action.

To increase the chance of insight, you just need to achieve the fulfillment of three conditions:

  1. Resting prefrontal cortex. This is that part of the brain, which makes a person human. She is in charge of logic, speech and other higher functions. So that she can rest, you have to relax and literally think of nothing, not solve any problems - just rest.
  2. Collected patterns. To get insight, you need to "warm up" the neural networks: imagine pictures indirectly related to the task, which will trigger background thought processes. For example, when it comes to developing a design for a website, you can think about architecture, живописи, engineering - about any area, which has interesting visual solutions.
  3. Silence. Вас никто не должен отвлекать. Youtube, телевизор, разговоры, the noise of cars - it all interferes. Locked in a "quiet room without windows", certainly, не нужно: you can go to the park, go to the smoking room - anywhere, where no one will stop you from thinking.

In the end, everything looks pretty simple.: расслабляемся, visualize, relax again - and here it is, insight. More precisely, its sharply increased likelihood. It is especially important to have good quality relaxation.. There are several types of waves in the brain: альфа (appear in a state, when a person falls asleep or almost falls asleep), beta (this is normal activity) and gamma - the formation of new neural connections. Insight happens just then, when gamma waves work, but they only appear after alpha waves. Hence the need to relax.

Besides, it is important for insight to maintain a positive mood and not be stressed. If you get too tired, upset or burnt out, amygdala - part of the brain, which is responsible for strong emotions, - will be too active, she will not let the alpha waves appear. That is why a tired team is not capable of solving complex problems..

Так что делать, if you have a difficult task?

First of all, важно понять, that the first time you can't solve it. You need to start by “loading” the problem into your head - say it out loud, describe the task on paper, but don't emphasize urgency or importance. Think of the problem as a puzzle, to be solved: do not strain and do not create stress - it will only get in the way. Described the task, formulating it, type patterns: analogies from other areas of life - all, which is somehow similar to our problem.

And then - just wait. Outlining the problem and collecting patterns, don't make an immediate brainstorm, let yourself relax and think. It is better to formulate the problem before some period of rest., for example, before lunch or before a walk. According to statistics collected by scrum trainers, most of the insights happen on the way somewhere - especially, if a person walks.

Через какое-то время, usually after a couple of days, come back to the problem a second time. And now it will already be a classic brainstorming session.: write down everything, even the craziest ideas, that come to mind, and ponder them. It's important to work creatively, without dismissing any options and possibilities. After an hour or two, take a break for half an hour, to rest the brain. This strategy maximizes the likelihood of an insight emerging - yes, it still cannot be guaranteed, but the chances will be very high.

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Author: Trader

Personal blog of a professional trader on the US stock exchange (NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX ) Dmitry Gavrilov. Started his career at NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) in 2008 years in prop company . With 2009 of the year became a senior trader of the largest prop in Russia and began to train traders of the company. With 2011 of the year was a trader of GT Capital Group with the support of SMB Capital (USA).