Saturday, March 31, 2018

Creative Problem-solving for Everyone

"Juggling" is often used as a metaphor (a figure of speech). For instance, we might say that we are always having to "juggle" our work commitments and our personal priorities, due to a hectic schedule. Or we might say we need to "juggle" with the use of different resources to accomplish various tasks.

So let's just say that "juggling" is akin to problem-solving.

Well, the actual activity of Juggling is essentially the outcome of solving the following problems: where and when to throw and catch the objects being juggled.

Watch the video. I juggle the "Chops" pattern. It is an advanced juggling pattern. Learning to do it requires that the entire pattern be broken down to smaller movements.

A post shared by Jimmy Lim (@jimmyjuggler) on

This is just like breaking down a complex problem into smaller problems to solve. Solve each small problem and work towards the entire solution.

Using one Club as an illustration:

1. Using one hand, toss the Club upwards and at the opposite side of the body.

2. Catch that Club at shoulder height with the other hand, and "chop" the Club down across the front of the body.

3. Toss that Club upwards.

4. Repeat steps 2 to 4.

Then, these basic movements are applied step-by-step to the situation of juggling all three Clubs. The final result is the complete "Chops" pattern.

Therefore, breaking down a big or complex problem into smaller parts to solve is a good way to get closer to the primary goal of a full solution. We can try to deal with real-life situations using this approach. First, we can identify the various aspects of the whole situation and try to deal with each aspect one by one. There might be a solution or countermeasure that works for each aspect. Then, try to integrate each solution back into the whole situation. See the diagram below at

An example of breaking down a Main Task into smaller tasks

What other creative and practical ways to solve problems do you know of? Share your ideas below as a comment on this post.

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