One of the many ways in which our mind attempts to make life easier is to solve the first impression of the problem that it encounters. Like our first impressions of people, our initial perspective on problems and situations are apt to be narrow and superficial. We see no more than we’ve been conditioned to see — and stereotyped notions block clear vision and crowd out imagination. This happens without any alarms sounding, so we never realize it is occurring.

Once we have settled on a perspective, we close off but one line of thought. Certain kinds of ideas occur to us, but only those kinds and no others. What if the crippled man who invented the motorized cart had defined his problem as: “How to occupy my time while lying in bed?” rather than “How to get out of bed and move around the house?”

The illustration below appears to have no meaning. If you continue looking at it from your initial perspective, you will see nothing. If, however, you step back from your computer and view the illustration from a distance or from an angle, you will see a message.

No Sex Causes Bad Eyesight

Genius often comes from finding a new perspective that no one else has taken. When Leonardo DaVinci finished a painting, he would always look at it from a far distance to get a different perspective. By distancing yourself from the pattern, you changed your perception of it, thereby allowing yourself to see something that you could not otherwise see. Similarly, Michael’s creative thinking techniques will help you gain different perspectives when faced with challenges, and they will enable you to look at the same information as everyone else and see something different.