The other evening, a sticky situation was unfolding.
And I was feeling, as I often do in sticky situations, that I had to make a decision posthaste if for no other reason than to end the stickiness of it all.
But my choices were crummy. I couldn’t go for any of them and feel like I’d stood up for myself. Plus, it was late and my thinking wasn’t sharp.
Usually, I’d accept the crummy choices as my only options, make a crummy decision with them, and be done with it. But I’d recently come across some sensible wisdom from John Steinbeck – “It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”
So, I slept. When I woke up the next morning, I had some new brainpower to throw at the sticky situation. I went out for my walk and was able to shake loose some fresh options.
And what the committee of sleep gave me was nothing more than the ability to create better choices for myself.
It’s not just sleep, either. Time can do it, too. One of my favorite tools is saying: Let me think about that and get back to you.
So, if we give ourselves sleep or time, what we’re doing is rejecting the obvious choices – which might be limiting and inadequate – and creating the space to find less obvious, more creative choices.
And there are few better things to throw at a sticky situation than creativity.