I solved the puzzle from yesterday, where the challenge was to remove a gold ring from an elaborate trap.
When I put all my energy and attention into solving the puzzle, I got nowhere. I was trying so hard and feeling like that one scene in Idiocracy where the morons are trying to fit square blocks into circle holes.
So the next morning, I woke up and watched anime with my sister while fiddling with the puzzle absentmindedly. I solved the first part almost right away.
Then I got excited and focused hard on the second part and I hit a wall. The harder I tried, the dumber I felt. Eventually I sorta gave up and passed it around in my hands while watching the show, and almost immediately, I figured out the second part!
For the last and final part of the puzzle, I was determined to get it right. I kept trying and failing, and coming back and trying and failing.
"You are SO close! You are literally one step away!" My sister said encouragingly.
"I feel like such an idiot!" I laughed back.
And then I remembered how I got the first two parts. I relaxed and played with it in my hands while thinking about the characters in the show. And I don't even know how I solved it but literally a minute later, the ring was in my hand.
Maybe letting things go is a much more effective way of solving an issue, than holding on too tightly.
Next time I'm faced with a seemingly unsolvable problem, and putting my attention to it isn't getting me anywhere, I'm going to do something to distract myself and see if I can work it out in the back of my mind.