Heuristics. Tools for Intuitive Competence.

Manipulated image of Matisse's painting of five dancing figuresHeuristics. Tools for Intuitive Competence

Heuristics is discovering the solution to a problem by looking for it in places you never imagined you could find it.

Open a book, put your finger randomly on a word, then use that word to guide you as you write your speech, or start the awkward conversation you’ve been avoiding,  or begin that difficult project.

‘Trusting your gut’
‘First thought, best thought’
‘Forget everything you think you know about this situation’
– are also forms of heuristics.

If you have a problem which is abstract, or if your understanding is unclear, look for another problem that is more specific and use it as a clue on how to proceed.

Draw a picture, or a map, to represent a situation you don’t fully understand yet.

If you have a problem that can be represented by two individuals, choose two people in a crowd, at a shopping center perhaps, or in a bar. Watch how they move and stand, how they interact with each other.

Heuristics can be a Constellation. Constellations are heuristic.

We imagine that the world is more linear, more coherent, more bounded by fixed rules, less interconnected than it is.

We assume that our problems are unique and specific to us. Imagine that we spend our lives representing different elements within countless constellations, for countless others. Imagine that the parts we play, while unknown to us, may be as essential to those in whose systems we serve as the air they breathe. While we, unbeknownst to ourselves, help them navigate their way through the mystery of their lives?