9 Dots – How To Think Outside the Box and Lower Stress

9 Dots – How To Think Outside the Box and Lower Stress

Do you like doing puzzles? I was assigned one as part of a mindfulness class to help us lower stress by thinking “outside of the box.” It was three rows of three dots on top of each other. The task was to connect all 9 dots using 4 straight lines without ever picking up the pencil or retracing any of the lines.


The 9 dots looked like this:

                          .                .                .


                       .                .                .


                       .                .                .

What you would do?


Did you solve it?


After a few minutes, I began drawing a series of 4 straight lines to connect all the dots without lifting my pencil and without retracing any of the lines.


All of my attempts kept leaving out one dot, so I stopped for a few minutes to consider other possible options. I finally came up with a solution that technically followed the directions, but I wasn’t sure if it was correct. So I put my pencil and paper away and asked my co-puzzle solvers if I was correct.


Here is what my solution looked like:


The top arrow was line #1. The one going down the right side was line #2. The Line along the bottom going left was line #3 and I just kept the pencil on the paper and made a curve to straight line #4, the one across the middle.


The class reaction was interesting. Two people said it was wrong because it had a curved line in it. But the instructions didn’t say I couldn’t draw a curved line and I didn’t take my pencil off the paper after drawing straight line #3. The rules just said I had to connect all the dots with 4 straight lines and not retrace any lines.


After thinking about it, the instructor said she had never seen anyone do it that way but it did follow the directions and my solution was correct. My class agreed.


I responded by listening and saying nothing :-).


A few other people had done the puzzle before and knew how to solve it. Below is the “typical correct” answer on how to do it:


Start at the upper left dot and follow the arrows. It made sense. The intention of the puzzle was to “think outside of the box.” To solve the puzzle, the arrows literally went “outside the box.” Both my solution and the intended one accomplished that.


It was a useful lesson.

  • You can succeed without doing things like everyone else
  • There can be more than one way to be right
  • Even if you’re correct, some people will think you’re wrong
  • Remaining silent didn’t require me to convince anyone my approach was correct – after consideration they decided it for themselves
  • You can follow directions and still think outside the box
  • The best you can do just may be good enough


What puzzles in your life are you working on that still need a solution? Maybe it’s time to do what Steve Jobs suggested, “Think differently.”


Want another quiz you can do to lower stress? Visit www.MenopauseQuiz.com and find out in just 2 minutes how much your menopause symptoms are affecting you.

Yours in Good Health,

Dr. Mache

Author of EstrogenFixBook.com


PS: Check out my #1 New Release on Menopause and get 9 Free Bonus Gifts as a thank you for helping get this important message out – EstrogenFixBook.com


The video below if from The Estrogen Fix


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