Shredding The Envelope In Your Thinking

In a highly competitive business world, oftentimes just stretching the envelope is
not enough! You have to shred it!! You must set yourself apart from your
competitors by not just thinking outside the box, but outside of the room or even the
world! People often assume that because they have a brain, they automatically must
know how to think. Right?! To think well requires practice, and like any skill, the
more you practice, the better you get at it.
This is a small warm-up exercise in learning how to think outside your boundaries
and as warm-ups, here are a few initial problems to get your motor started.
1) How many months have 30 days?
2) Count out loud from 10 to 1, backwards.
3) Is it legal for a man to marry his widow's sister?
4) What is the volume of dirt (in cubic feet) in a hole that measures 4 feet by 5 feet by
18 inches?
Now look at the answers on the next page and see the kind of thinking you must
employ to solve these problems. With that in mind, tackle the following problems
and see how much easier they become:
1) Two young girls were born of the same mother on the same day of the year.
Although they readily admit to being sisters, they deny being twins. How can
this be?
2) A young man and his father are in a car accident. The father is killed and the
young man is rushed into the hospital. The attending doctor exclaims, "That's my
son!" What is the explanation?
3) A hunter walks 2 miles south from his campsite, 5 miles west, then 2 miles north
and he finds himself back at his campsite. A bear is eating his supplies and he
shoots it. What color is the bear?
4) If a bacterial strain doubles its growth each day in a petri dish and the petri dish is
full on March 30, what day was it half full?


Answers to first set:

1) 11

2) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

3) No, he's dead.

4) A hole has no dirt in it.

Answers to second set:

1) They were born in different years.

2) The doctor is his mother.

3) The bear is white and at the North Pole.

4) March 29





When Ulysses S. Grant was a boy, he watched several grown men thrown off a
stubborn mule, one by one. Since a circus operator was offering money to anyone
who could ride the mule for a certain length of time, Grant decided to give it a try.
On the first try he was thrown off. On the second try, he attacked the problem in a
surprise way. He mounted the mule backwards and wrapped his legs around its belly
while grabbing a hold of the tail. The mule could not throw him off.
You can always be open to surprise possibilities in your life. Look for the
unlikely in everything. Consider the unthinkable and ponder the improbable. Life’s
greatest opportunities are often disguised. Now go out and solve problems in your
own life in a novel or surprising way.