Problem solving does not always have a straightforward solution. Although we are taught to look at things in a specific way, sometimes life just isn't that simple. We can get so caught up in the goal that we can miss the solution right in front of us. That's when it's time to step back and look at the problem in a new way.
Disney's Big Hero 6 does a great job demonstrating what happens when you think outside the box.
Hiro is trying to come up with something that will impress his brother's "nerd school" so he can start making great inventions like his brother. He hits a road block and becomes frustrated when he tries to come up with something amazing, but Tadashi tells him something really important.
"Look for a new angle."
This approach to problems is not always easy.
Dan Pink explains this using what is called "The Candle Problem", a different way, and less common approach to problem solving.
When it comes to careers and choices, life is more of a candle problem, and it's more difficult to find the box. This is especially true when it comes to career goals. There's never one set path, and it may take failure and set backs before you can see the solution.
In many cases, obstacles that seem daunting can actually be the solution that we need to move toward the goal.
When life gives us candle problems, it usually adds a deadline, and enormous pressure to get the work done, but if we take a step back, the solution may not be as straightforward, or even as difficult as we have originally thought.
When we look at things from a new angle, take a step back and stop focusing on what we think will reach the goal, the solution could be right in front of us.