Problem Solving by an Orangutan

I forget how much we can learn from the world around us; I think we all take it for granted. This past week I went to the zoo while I was in Philly and I’m so glad I did! I brought my fancy camera and spent hours wandering the various exhibits with my patient (and hopefully also having fun) hosts.

One. I love any opportunity to be out and about with my camera.

Two. I love animals. Like many children before me, I thought I would become a marine biologist and play with dolphins.

Three. Lately I’ve felt a bit stuck and stumped for ideas.

I wish I had more power than words to encourage everyone to travel and explore. If leaving your home country is impossible or intimidating then travel within your own country. How many of you have lived in the same city but never visited its nearby attractions?!

I’m emphasizing this point because of my recent visit to Philly. I have some pretty important people who live there that I haven’t seen in years. It was time to remedy that.

Before I left to go to Philly, I kept thinking “I should write a blog post,” or, “I should start that painting.” I fell into a familiar rut of thinking about my work and not executing it.

What exactly does all of this have to do with an orangutan?!

At the zoo, there was an orangutan exhibit. These large, wonderful animals did not have all of the materials or perhaps the quantity they customarily use to cover their head to protect them from heat and sun. But they did find objects within their habitat they could substitute for tree brush and leaves…a big black bucket. It is within the species nature and instinct to cover, so one particular orangutan found the resources to make it happen.

It is only when we are outside of our normal environments or we are presented with a problem that is challenging to resolve that we can see our resources and tools around us in a new light. A change of scenery is a great way to offer your mind new perspectives and angles from which to problem solve. (And, maybe have a little fun along the way too!)

I started my trip feeling stuck and a little lost. I reached the city, went to the zoo, wrote a blog post, and took loads of new photographs. Not to mention I also connected with great people and spent quality time with loved ones.

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Find one attraction near your home you have never visited. Call some friends, set a date, dust off that camera, time to go! That new idea you have been waiting for is calling you.