What Christmas Shopping Taught Me about Problem Solving

19 Dec

Sometimes life lessons come along in odd ways.

Last summer, two of my nieces were married and I thought it would be fun to frame some photos of my sister and me with the newlyweds to give to my mom.  The frame I found was perfect and the end product looked great. So … I thought that my sister might enjoy one too.

I went back to Aaron Brothers and you guessed it, they didn’t have that frame in stock and it would take two weeks to order. There was no way I could wait that long.

I asked the store clerk where else I might be able to find such a frame and she suggested trying Michael’s, their sister store.

So, I trekked off to Michael’s and found several rows of frames.

I went up and down each aisle in search for that perfect frame. And it wasn’t there.

So, I thought, perhaps I had overlooked it and tried again. No luck.

Feeling desperate, I decided to peruse the selection one more time and to slow down.

And lo and behold, in the last row, I found another frame that was completely different … but even better than the one I had used for my mom’s gift.  The color and texture of the frame were even more perfect as the weddings had been held in rural barn settings. And the frame would work better in my sister’s house.

On my drive home, I thought about my afternoon.

Sometimes we get so focused on the “perfect” solution that we close off our imagination to other options.

So my takeaway was … open your mind when trying to solve a problem and great options may become evident that would have otherwise been lost in the search of the perfect solution.



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