Creativity as a process of discovering solutions

“It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say ‘It’s as plain as the nose on your face.’ But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?” – Isaac Asimov

Have you thought about this before? It’s a simple idea ‒ certainly an obvious one ‒ but many of us tend to forget it as easily as we hear it.

Particularly for creative individuals, the obvious solutions that escape us are typically the ones we are trying the hardest to find. But, for whatever reason, we often place barriers between ourselves and the very solutions we seek.


Too often we go out trying to create a solution for a problem. We gather the resources and make the time and settle ourselves down to pursue the creation of a solution. In reality: solutions exist, it’s your job to bring them to light. Sometimes that means simply presenting the problem in the right perspective.

To quote this great article from Creativity Post“…The most creative people are actually the ones who point out where the problems are in the first place”

So, if solutions are waiting for us to simply discover them, why is it common to struggle in search of them? Sometimes you might be letting fear get in the way of the perfect, obvious solution. You’ll say “But it can’t be that easy!” Though it certainly is. Or other times you might find yourself getting entirely too “zoomed up” on the problem you’re looking at. Your focus is so tight that you fail to see the solution just a tiny bit outside of your scope. Other times you might be too concentrated to really focus clearly, or maybe you’re coming up with excuses, or perhaps you don’t understand the problem as well as you thought.

Whatever reasons you may be getting stuck, one very feasible solution is to first make sure you understand what it is you’re trying to do or address, then surround yourself with all of the inspiration and information about that problem, then take a break and relax. Let the solutions make themselves clear to you.

It doesn’t always turn out that way, but it’s always worth trying if you’re feeling stuck.

Photo by Vincent.