4 O R T Y or 40

When we learn something, we are taught to program it into our brain and stop thinking about or looking for alternatives. We have been taught to have “spotlight” awareness and to exclude alternatives and possibilities. Over time this spotlight mindset become stronger and stronger. To get a sense of how strong this mindset is, try solving the following problem.

THOUGHT EXPERIMENT

Consider the following problem which involves multiples of five. It’s a complex problem which can only be solved thinking inclusively and unconventionally.

05, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35?

Of the five numbers below, which complete the series above?

06, 15, 18, 20, 25

The series is a progression of multiples of five and the expected answer should be 40. But 40 is not listed below.

A creative thinker would ask “How else can I look at this problem?” “How can I rethink the way I see the number 40?” “Can it be expressed in a different way?” Well it can be expressed many different ways, for example, Roman numerals and so on. But the answer must be listed below, so the thinker would wonder about different ways of looking at the listed numbers below. Can they take some other form?

One different way of looking at the numbers is to transform the numbers into alphabetical letters. F is the #6 letter of the alphabet; 15 = O; 18 = R; 20 = T; and 25 = Y. The numbers when converted to letters spell “Forty.” The answer to the problem is all five numbers are necessary to complete the series. This problem can only be solved by thinking inclusively and considering the least obvious approaches as well as the conventional ones.

For more information about creative thinking, read Michael Michalko’s book CREATIVE THINKERING. http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Thinkering-Putting-Your-Imagination/dp/160868024X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424553466&sr=8-1&keywords=CREATIVE+THINKERING

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jerry Dawson on February 23, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Shame about the missing 25 typo? in your sequence. Destroys the ” must be forty” thread of your point.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: