My wife, Sharon, and I decided we were at a stage in life when we wanted both to take an extended break to reflect on what life was all about and to align our aims and objectives for what is left of it.

Australia was our chosen destination and we reflected on lots of things. I even had time to get a bit of Sudoku in. I just love the hardest one, the most advanced and most fiendish.

I have various techniques for solving them which might be scientifically explained as Block and Column and Row Interaction.

There is one technique, however, that may be even more scientific whilst appearing quite ordinary: the act of walking away and disconnecting your brain from the problem. I have done this so many times that I know it works.

In the early days of Sudoku my only conclusion was that its publisher had made a printing error and there was actually no solution possible for the one I was trying to complete.

But, if I put it down and go back to it a few hours later, invariably, and within 30 seconds, I would look in amazement and say, “that’s a 3…how on earth did I miss such an obvious one?”

I have found this to be very much like life. We can all end up in a cycle of going round the same route, the same thought pattern without never really getting a solution to the problem.

Our time in Australia was an effort to look at how we can break the mould of life and discover something we may have missed. We have done lots of things that we would not normally do and I feel I have managed to get to a particular place which was pretty much my goal.

My wife Sharon is a bit of an expert on discovery and I guess that is why I married her. We were out cycling one day and I was taking in the scenery, at least I thought I was, when Sharon shouted to me to stop and come back to where she had stopped.

She had seen a poster outside a church: Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.

That was it; the secret to Sudoku; the secret to solving business problem; and perhaps, the secret to life?


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Brian Williamson is our Entrepreneur in Residence. If you would like to know more about this subject, drop him an email and we will be in touch.

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