Dichotomies, or black and white thinking, are of enormous value in life. I think the whole computer world operates on the 1 or 0 dichotomy. However, many times thinking in dichotomies is limiting your choices unnecessarily.
In The Wealthy Spirit, Chellie Campbell writes, “As I work with people to help them reduce their financial stress, I look at the choices they’ve made that put them in a financial position that isn’t viable. One of the problems that seems endemic is the mental habit of considering only two options before making a decision” (138).
Do I quit my job and pursue my dream, or I do remain a slave to the corporation…or the university?
Well, you could pursue your dream occupation part-time while you continue saving money, making more contacts to support you financially, in the future.
Should I buy generic or brand name?
If what you’re buying is really important to you, like maybe coffee, buy the brand you like. If it is not so important, buy generic. And you can always look for branded items on sale, especially these days!
Do we meet at your house or mine for coffee?
We could meet at The Tipsy Teapot instead.
That’s why creative thinking is soooooo important. But to come up with the best solutions, you’ve got to realize that there are plenty of options out there, you just need to invest the time to think them up.
That’s where brainstorming is useful. Develop as many possible solutions or alternatives as possible, knowing that most of them are not viable. But you can’t get to the right one until you’ve worked at it for awhile.
I tell my students that their writing is like the faucet at the old house at the beach. You have to let the brown water run out, before you get to the sweet, clear water.