If you don’t know it, and it’s likely you do know it, but if you don’t know it yet, try the nine dot problem.
The puzzle is to connect the nine dots above using only four lines, without lifting your pen.
Give it a go – the answer is below so no peeking!
Why are we thinking about the nine dot problem?
The solution is fascinating.
Or the best well-known solution, at any rate.
Did you get to it yourself?
Once you realise that the nine dots problem is less about the nine dots and more about how you perceive the ‘problem’, you realise you can literally (and this is where the phrase originally came from) “think outside the box”.
As Norman Vincent Peale wrote in 1969
That puzzle represents the way a lot of people think. They get caught up inside the box of their own lives. You’ve got to approach any problem objectively. Stand back and see it for exactly what it is. From a little distance, you can see it a lot more clearly. Try and get a different perspective, a fresh point of view. Step outside the box your problem has created within you and come at it from a different direction.
All of a sudden, just like the puzzle, you’ll see how to handle your problem. And just like the four lines that connect all the dots, you’ll discover the course of action that’s just right in order to set your life straight.
That’s why we think the nine dot problem is essentially what we’re ‘solving’ every day at Street Wisdom.
When we get caught up inside the box of our own life, it’s time to get outside, to think outside, to think outside the box, to stand back and ‘see it for exactly what it is’.
To come at it from a different direction.
From a little distance, you can see it a lot more clearly.
That’s Street Wisdom, the art of adding a little distance, of seeing more clearly.
It’s an option available to anybody who chooses to wander in this wiggly new way.
Inspired? Fancy some more Street Wisdom? Join a Walkshop near you, or head out for your own wander right now with our Tune Ups. Buy your own copy of Wanderful, all profits go back into Street Wisdom to help keep it free. Share your insights and follow us @StreetWisdom_