Creative Problem Solving

Michael Crook has an article about creative problem solving up at and starts it off with a great tale:
I racked a fresh shell of 00 Buck into the chamber of my 12-gauge shotgun and drew the weapon to my shoulder. As I took careful aim at the dead tree branch about 30 feet above and 10 feet down range of me, my friend asked, “What are you doing?”

“Creative problem-solving,” I answered.

Recently I was interviewed for an article and the writer asked me just how I come up with my ideas. In thinking about it, I realized that I don't start with a list of materials I need, like most people would. Instead, I start with a list of what I need to create and then follow up with a question to myself: what do I have that will work for this? Sometimes I still have to run to the store, but very often I can scour my shelves and come up with something that will work. To me, it's creative problem solving at its best, and it's also more environmentally sound.

"But, I'm not creative!" people say. Baloney says Crook (and I have to agree!).
You’ve employed creative problem-solving if you’ve ever cut three holes in a 33 gallon trash bag to use as an emergency poncho, or used a piece of cardboard as a dustpan or rolled a piece of paper into a makeshift funnel.

Now, get out there and figure out how to harvest that out of reach fruit. Or something.

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