As you go along in your disaster readiness journey, you’ll no doubt pick up many wonderful and useful skills. You’ll also likely purchase any number of tools, gadgets, and doodads that will (hopefully) be useful in an emergency. However, above all else, you should strive to develop a survival mindset. Creativity is one important facet of this mindset.
Having the ability to think outside the box and develop creative solutions to problems is critical in emergencies. Sure, given a set of well written instructions and all the requisite tools and parts, most people could probably build a bookcase or even assemble a small engine. But, what if you’re missing one of the tools? In many situations, given some thought and creativity, you can improvise a solution. It might not be perfect and it might not look pretty but as long as it works, who cares?
The Instant Challenge
You can practice out of the box thinking and creativity in many different ways. One that I highly recommend is to do a search for “Destination Imagination Instant Challenge.” Destination Imagination (DI) is a program found in many school systems around the world. Basically, the focus is on encouraging students to be creative thinkers.
One facet of the program is called Instant Challenge. At DI tournaments, teams will be taken into a classroom and presented with a handful of supplies and a written challenge. For example, they are given a few paper cups, some string, two straws, and a ping pong ball and they have five minutes to build a contraption that will sling the ping pong ball a minimum of ten feet. There are no right or wrong answers to these challenges. Having coached a few DI teams over the years, I can tell you the solutions can get quite interesting.
There are hundreds of Instant Challenges available for free online. While they are typically intended for use as practice for DI teams, you can do them at home by yourself or with your family. Even better, once you’ve done a few of them, you may find yourself coming up with your own Instant Challenges. They can actually be quite fun and are a great way to spend a rainy afternoon with the family.It takes more than supplies and classes to be able to survive in an emergency. Click To Tweet
A key component to creative thinking is keeping an open mind. Don’t negate any possible solution without just cause. When presented with a problem, brainstorm as many solutions as possible, then whittle down the list until you reach the one that fits perfectly, or at least as best as possible.
Thinking outside the box can often lead to unorthodox solutions, too. That’s almost never a bad thing. Those off-the-wall suggestions can inspire you to explore new avenues, possibly leading to even better solutions for other issues down the road.