Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Whack on the Side of the Head

Strange title for a post that is typically about scouting.
"A Whack on the Side of the Head," by Roger von Oech was the first book that I read in college that really got me thinking outside of the box.
It is a fun read and I would recommend this book to get you to think about non conventional ways to solve problems we face in our daily lives.
The title comes from that moment when we finally realize the answer for our problem has always been right in front of you and you never saw it because the solution was so simple you couldn't discover it and then when you did, you gave yourself a whack on the head thinking, "why didn't I think of this before."
Well, these whacks come to me from time to time and most of them come are when I am in the moment of free play thinking.
You know those times where you begin to ponder the goofiest things like what happens to your lap when you stand up or if camels are called ships of the desert, then why aren't tugboat called camels of the sea? Or if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does the tree still make a sound?
Today, I got my whack.
I was at work and thinking of a new more efficient way to help the astronauts build the space station that they are currently working on. And this came to me after hearing on the news that the astronauts needed to conduct another space walk to repair a piece that was installed with a screw or pin that was put in backwards.
My idea was to engrave the picture of what the parts should look like when fully assembled so they would know instantaneously if it was assembled correctly or not.
It would have to be engraved on the parts as no one in their right mind would follow the instructions provided with the schematics depicted in black and white.
Or send up a 3 yr. old to do it as I have often heard that old line, "any 3 yr. old can do that!"
Well, my idea made sense to me and it was my whack anyway.
So now that I have had my whack on the side of the head and I will apply that thought process again in my scouting tasks that lay ahead and see what new things will come about because of me being well outside my box.
I will leave you with a whack to ponder, "What would a chair look like if your knees bent the other way?"
Thank you Roger von Oechs. I needed that.

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