We recently held a marketing class for Songbird practitioners with business coach Roberta Ryan. One of the things she discussed was the difference between a puzzle and a mystery. A puzzle has a fixed set of pieces and a clear solution when you assemble the pieces in the right way. A mystery has many possible paths to the solution and may not be solvable at all. When I searched for more information on the web, I found a fascinating article applying puzzles and mysteries to the left and the right brains.
My search was an example of a puzzle. I knew there was more information available. I found the information and completed the puzzle.
Solving a logic puzzle is left-brained. You take the pieces and put them where they belong in order to get the answer. When I wanted to find out more ways to e-market Songbird, I searched on-line and found a list of the top 10 sites for listing conferences along with a summary of what you could find on them and the demographics of who used them. I also found many other sites. Discovering this kind of information is a solvable puzzle.
The mystery is whether or not posting on them will bring more success to Songbird. There is no way to know that for sure. I can look at data and trends and what has worked for other people, but what works for one person or business will not necessarily work for another. Because of the many variables involved, something could work one day and not the next. All I can do is keep exploring and trying to find new creative ways when one is unsuccessful. My right brain loves playing with mysteries and thinking about new ways to make money. My left brain panics at the thought of not knowing whether they will work. My left brain loves the comfort of being able to apply the tried and true solution that has worked for others. My right brain gets bored by doing things the same way over and over.
It takes a balance of the two to be successful in any area of our life – from relationships to business. By realizing the difference and how to treat each situation in my life, I can let my left brain get excited by solving the puzzles and my right brain get excited by playing with the mysteries. I can lessen the left brain frustration for a solution by reminding it that I am working with a mystery. And when I relax into the mystery, I often find that it opens me up to finding the unique solution that is right for my situation.