Wisdom From Books

Let’s think out of the box

Posted on: November 30, 2011

Everyone has issues, challenges and problems in life. Everyone is trying to face those challenges and find ways to solve problems.

People are playing by the ‘rules’ of the game which are seldom challenged. Here is a short story from the Greek literature which brings a very interesting moral: ‘There is more than one way to solve any problem in life’

Here is the story:

In ancient Greek mythology, Gordius, who was King of a state, gave a challenge to the people.

He declared that whoever could untie the ‘knot’ was destined to become ruler of all Asia.

People came one after the other and tried their level best to open the knot. No one was able to untie or open it fully. Puzzle remained where it was – the knot was still tied.

Then came Alexander the Great. He too tried his hand at the task but like others, he was also unable to get the knot untied. He got impatient.

He tried again and again with both hands to open the knot. However, knot was tied in a manner that he was unable to untie it with his hands. Impatience started growing.

Finally, he pulled out his sword and smashed it down on the knot, cutting it in half!.

Instead of using hands, he used his sword to cut the knot.

The king saw this and told the audience that his challenge was to untie the knot.

Though Alexander has used unconventional way, he has achieved the results. Alexander was awarded the prize and he became ruler of all Asia.

So, the moral of the story: There are more than one way to look at a problem. Unconventional ways may help at time! We might need to think more, re-frame the problem and think out of the box to find the solution.

Note: The above story is from the book: Tales for Coaching by Margaret Parkin

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