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When Life Gives you Lemons, Make a Dessert!

So when life gives you lemons, do you eat those lemons, make lemonade, or go one step further, and make lemon meringue pie? 

I’ve discovered there’s almost an even distribution of those that fall into the first two options, while many struggle to conceptualize the third. 

Being creatures of habit, we crave our comfort zones, so it’s not surprising when we struggle to accept a new challenge…. 

Even if the lemons are sour. 

The other half of us attempt to rally and are opportunistic. Taking those lemons, and turning them into lemonade. A respectable result, and certainly better than just eating sour lemons, it is rarer still, that those of us find a transformational solution, such as lemon meringue pie. 

Why is that?

For most of us, this option isn’t on our radar screens, because we are limited in our way of thinking. Our strategy and approach to dealing with adverse situations is tenured, and archaic. Friends, family and co-workers are partly to blame for group think however, it is unwillingness to go outside our comfort zone that holds us back. The truth is, it’s only when we step into the unknown, that we can find new solutions, and turn our sour lemons into a delicious dessert. 

So, you ask “What do you do, when you want a lemon meringue pie? 

Well, fortunately for you, I’ve listed 5 ways to help you improve your chances of finding that perfect recipe. Bon appétit. 

Step 1

Ask the simple question – Why are these lemons showing up?

The rather obvious solution is to problem solve by yourself. Why are these lemons showing up in the first place? Sit down and give yourself the time to answer the honest question, of why you are experiencing what you are experiencing? In Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, we are reminded that often “thinking” is the hardest job of them all. It is possible you can solve important questions by yourself, though it can be difficult, due to our limited perspectives, We are often too close to the situation. Not to worry though, this leads us to the remaining steps.

Step 2

Own your kitchen – but don’t shut down your cooks.

Often we’re unwilling to seek counsel, because we’re stubborn. This can result in more of the same lemonade, or possibly eating the sour lemons by default. Whether it is a challenge in your personal life, or in your business, consider asking for feedback and learn to be an attentive listener. You can seek help from colleagues who are nonjudgmental and open minded. A fresh perspective on the topic may lead you to improved results. One of the classic rules of brainstorming is to collect ideas from everyone before judging them, so remember to be attentive when someone is speaking. 

Opening yourself up without judgement increases the possibilities for a solution, so try to listen without thinking of your own response. Lastly, take notes of what you hear, and let the idea’s settle. Being patient, and reviewing them a day or two later, may lead to an answer for your recipe. Just think, it was “a janitor” at Frito Lay, who came up with the idea for Hot Cheeto’s two decades ago. More than a billion dollars later, I think the CEO is happy he kept an open mind to the ideas of even the most unlikely candidate. 

Step

Put the “old” cookbook away – What are the kids eating? 

This may be the toughest challenge. As mentioned, you are in this place for a reason. An uncomfortable reality is understanding when the “old way isn’t working.” Becoming stuck here, means an inability to find and a new and improved formula. Some of you may say, “I do try to explore other possibilities” for my lemon meringue pie recipe! However, have you considered seeking out the assistance from younger minds?  You’ll improve your odds if you do (their neural pathways aren’t as shut down). Young people are very particular and operate differently than the average adult. One angle to consider is that on average Generation Z prefers to watch Youtube more than TV. This tells us businesses how they should be market and advertise. By Involving younger minds into your think tank, will certainly gain a more worldly view and fresher perspective. 

Step

Bring a new chef into the kitchen – Find an expert. 

If friends, colleagues, and the youth aren’t helpful enough. Consider bringing in professional services. These are those who are skilled with specialized knowledge, to help you create your perfect recipe! With COVID 19, many people are discovering the benefits to online video conferencing. You can think of the internet as a large pool of potential, that you can jump into with specific questions. By locating an expert in a particular field, you can learn from their experience, helping you create or innovate a solution. Involving someone who understands exactly what you are going through, can be a game changer…However if this is too costly or if you’re determined to bake your pie yourself, I have greats news for you. 

You can rely on this last step!

Step 5. 

Discover the recipe yourself – Activate your “Right Brain.”  

The Right Brain is the place where scientists have proven creativity, intuition, artistry and problem solving exist. If you don’t believe me, just look up Dr. Roger Walcott Sperry, who won a Nobel prize for his discovery of lateralization in brain function. By implementing simple techniques, typically used in Inner Child Therapy, you can follow along with my NYT Best selling Book, Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius. Reading the chapters, you’ll learn tools to access your right brain, helping you discover new ways to find your perfect recipe. If you are looking for the “Aha” moment, right brain activation is a proven way to help you answer questions that are eluding you, leading to breakthrough results!  

Applying the “Right Brain” to Business & Personal Matters

Though all of these steps can help you find your perfect recipe, I can personally attest to Step 5, in changing how I solve complex problems. 

Over the past 23 years I’ve used this methodology to find solutions in my personal and professional life. Added plus, these techniques are fast, simple, and can help you find answers to whatever challenges you are going through.

An example in business was several years ago, when I was approached by the head of marketing for a global brand. She confided that the company had been losing market share for each of the past seven years. She heard me speak on the Right Brain Ideation Topic and decided to participate in a hands on session, where I led 500+ industry professionals chart the trade group’s direction for the next 5 years. 

By applying my Ideation methodology in a manner deemed, “IO/OI: Inside Out/Outside In” we were able to unlock the breakthrough “truths”  that eluded the companies leaders, outdoing many consulting firms they had hired in the previous seven years.The answers we found were both BIG and simple solutions, that I am happy to report, resulted in marked increases in market share for this global company.

If you are looking to come out of this lockdown, a more creative problem solver, I can’t recommend enough that you consider activating your right brain, by following along with the steps outlined in Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius. 

It’s been the single most important lesson I’ve learned, and has helped impact the lives of many others, solving both small and big problems.

Here is one more example on the personal front. 

I came across Nicholas R. Johnson,  an unhappy and unfulfilled sales representative at a big, national tech and educational services company. Working 1:1, we activated his right side of the brain to gain a fresh perspective. He realized rather quickly the source of this discontent, and took a brave step, leaving his job to pursue to his true passion, writing and coaching young adults. Eight months later his decision is paying off, as he is writing his first book, and in the early stages of starting his coaching business. When I spoke with Nick, he’s expressed gratitude for discovering his new skill, and say’s it has helped him avoid similar pitfalls, leading to a meaningful and fulfilling life. 

So with that, I’ll leave you to work through these steps. 

The moral of the story is, you can create your perfect pie, you just have to be willing to try!   

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