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Do You Use IKEA? 7 Things IKEA Has Taught Me About Life

Do You Use IKEA? 7 Things IKEA Has Taught Me About Life

No matter your background or position, everyone has an opinion on IKEA. While some love the organization, flow, pricing, and practical nature, other people hate IKEA for the exact same reasons. Wherever you fall on the IKEA love/hate scale, everyone can agree that this successful store’s approaches are one-of-a-kind. Though the unique approaches from IKEA defy conventional ones, it hasn’t slowed down the home furnishing giant in the slightest. So kickback on your Karlstad, and dust off your Norden, these life lessons from IKEA are the real deal.

1. Minimalism Rocks

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    Nowhere is it more clear that minimalism is the way of the future than IKEA. Not only does minimalist designs make sense for decreased shipping costs and more efficiently design showrooms, minimalist designs are also more efficient to produce. As we increasingly see our home spaces transformed by new design elements, minimalism is one that is surely here to stay.

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    2. It’s OK To Be Cheap

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      Sure IKEA furniture doesn’t always last for more than a few years, but what things do these days? The affordable products at IKEA not only make for a successful business model, it  lets a lot of us have a more comfortable life then we would otherwise be able to afford. At times when everyone is struggling to make ends meet, it’s a nice reminder to know that being cheap can be a good thing.

      3. Be More Independent

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        Not everybody’s a fan of IKEA’s self-serve nature, however there’s nothing wrong with showing yourself what you can do. Sure you had to traverse four floors and carry your furniture to the till yourself, but making things is terrifically gratifying. Nothing but your sweat and tears made that couch a reality.          

        4. All You Need Is A Hexagonal Wrench

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          No matter how complicated your IKEA purchase is, it seems that it always goes together with nothing more than a few screws and a tiny wrench. Those shrunken hexagons build even the largest IKEA pieces, whether it’s a couch, table or bed. It’s enough evidence to convince me at least, that you can do anything in life with willpower and a hexagonal wrench.

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          5. Welcome Others

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            Who can forget this adorable monkey who found his way inside of an IKEA in Canada, in 2012. In the midst of inclement weather, IKEA sheltered the monkey until an alternative home could be found. Now happy and healthy at an animal sanctuary, the monkey named Darwin was captured in a humane way. A strong reminder that it is never out of fashion to care for others.

            6. Europe’s Where It’s At

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              IKEA’s not just an innovative store with successful products, it’s also the sign of new approaches in Europe. Not only that, but IKEA tailors its presence to every market it enters. Between futuristic spaces and more innovative building designs, it never hurts to look for influences outside our own countries. Not only that, approaching all cultures with respect is crucial in understanding others.

              7. Everything Is Better With Food

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                IKEA is a strong testament to a universally true principal: food makes everything better. Whether you’re a bacon fanatic, a junk food lover, or the person who can never turn down a pizza, absolutely every and anything goes better with food. In fact, if they allowed it at the gym, I would even snack while working out. Another tasty reason why IKEA keeps us coming back.

                Featured photo credit: John Pastor via flickr.com

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                Alicia Prince

                A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                Last Updated on July 16, 2019

                6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

                6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

                Have you ever thought of yourself as a problem solver? I’m guessing not. But in reality, we are constantly solving problems. And the better our problem solving skills are, the easier our lives are.

                Problems arise in many shapes and forms. They can be mundane, everyday problems, or larger more complex problems:

                What to have for dinner tonight?

                Which route to take to work?

                How to fix a project that’s running behind schedule?

                How to change from an uninspiring job to a career you’re really passionate about?

                Every day, you’ll be faced with at least one problem to solve. But it gets easier when you realize that problems are simply choices. There’s nothing ‘scary’ about them other than having to make a decision.

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                No matter what job you’re in, where you live, who your partner is, how many friends you have, you will be judged on your ability to solve problems. Because problems equal hassles for everyone concerned. And people don’t like hassle. So the more problems you can solve, the less hassle all-round, the happier people are with you. Everyone wins.

                Why Are Problem Solving Skills Important?

                Problem is something hard to understand or accomplish or deal with. It can be a task, a situation, or even a person. Problem solving involves methods and skills to find the best solutions to problems.

                Problem solving is important because we all have decisions to make, and questions to answer in our lives. Amazing people like Eleanor Roosevelt, Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., are all great problems solvers. Good parents, teachers, doctors and waiters all have to be good at solving different sort of problems as well.

                Problem solving skills are for our everyday lives.

                How to Enhance Problem Solving Skills

                Most people believe that you have to be very intelligent in order to be a good problem solver, but that’s not true.

                You don’t have to be super smart to be a problem solver, you just need practice.

                When you understand the different steps to solve a problem, you’ll be able to come up with great solutions.

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                1. Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem

                Neuroscientists have proven that your brain cannot find solutions if you focus on the problem.[1] This is because when you focus on the problem, you’re effectively feeding ‘negativity,’ which in turn activates negative emotions in the brain. These emotions block potential solutions.

                I’m not saying you should ‘ignore the problem,’ instead, try to remain calm. It helps to first, acknowledge the problem; and then, move your focus to a solution-oriented mindset where you keep fixed on what the ‘answer’ could be, rather than lingering on ‘what went wrong’ and ‘who’s fault it is’.

                2. Adapt 5 Whys to Clearly Define the Problem

                5 Whys is a problem solving framework to help you get to the root of a problem.

                By repeatedly asking the question “why” on a problem, you can dig into the root cause of a problem, and that’s how you can find the best solution to tackle the root problem once and for all. And it can go deeper than just asking why for five times.

                For example:

                If the problem is “always late to work”…

                • Why am I late to work?
                  I always click the snooze button and just want to go on sleeping.
                • Why do I want to go on sleeping?
                  I feel so tired in the morning.
                • Why do I feel tired in the morning?
                  I slept late the night before, that’s why.
                • Why did I sleep late?
                  I wasn’t sleepy after drinking coffee, and I just kept scrolling my Facebook feed and somehow I couldn’t stop.
                • Why did I drink coffee?
                  Because I was too sleepy at work in the afternoon, not having enough sleep the night before.

                So there you see, if you didn’t try to dig out the root of the problem, you may just set a few more alarms and have it beep every five minutes in the morning. But in fact, the problem you need to solve is to quit Facebook surfing endlessly at night so you’ll feel more energetic in the day time, and you won’t even need coffee.

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                3. Simplify Things

                As human beings, we have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be! Try simplifying your problem by generalizing it.

                Remove all the details and go back to the basics. Try looking for a really easy, obvious solution – you might be surprised at the results! And we all know that it’s often the simple things that are the most productive.

                4. List out as Many Solutions as Possible

                Try to come up with ‘ALL POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS’ – even if they seem ridiculous at first. It’s important you keep an open mind to boost creative thinking, which can trigger potential solutions.

                Coming from 10 years in the corporate advertising industry, it is drummed into you that ‘No idea is a bad idea’ and this aids creative thinking in brainstorms and other problem-solving techniques.

                Whatever you do, do not ridicule yourself for coming up with ‘stupid solutions’ as it’s often the crazy ideas that trigger other more viable solutions.

                5. Think Laterally

                Change the ‘direction’ of your thoughts by thinking laterally. Pay attention to the saying,

                ‘You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging it deeper.”

                Try to change your approach and look at things in a new way. You can try flipping your objective around and looking for a solution that is the polar opposite!

                Even if it feels silly, a fresh and unique approach usually stimulates a fresh solution.

                6. Use Language That Creates Possibility

                Lead your thinking with phrases like ‘what if…’ and ‘imagine if…’ These terms open up our brains to think creatively and encourage solutions.

                Avoid closed, negative language such as ‘I don’t think…’ or ‘But this is not right…’.

                The Bottom Line

                There’s nothing scary about a problem when you start to adapt my advice.

                Try not to view problems as ‘scary’ things! If you think about what a problem really is, it’s really just feedback on your current situation.

                Every problem is telling you that something is not currently working and that you need to find a new way around it.

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                So try to approach problems neutrally – without any judgment. Practice focusing on defining a problem, keep calm and not to make things too complicated.

                More About Problem Solving

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                Reference

                [1] Planet of Success: Problem vs Solution Focused Thinking

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