When I was in 8th grade I had a math teacher who would give us weekly brain teasers to sharpen our problem-solving abilities. I looked forward to these times because there was one dollar awarded to the person who came up with the answer first.
You might not believe it to know me now, but I once had a very sharp mind and was good at unraveling the riddles and lining my pockets with “dollar bills, y’all!” When I think back to what made me so quick at unlocking the key to whatever conundrum he’d given us, it was that I’d asked myself, “What if I’m thinking about this all wrong? What am I not seeing?” Invariably, the answer would emerge and I’d win the week’s pot.
Typically, a riddle has a set up, then a question and goes something like this:
Q: A man is pushing his car along the road when he comes to a hotel. He shouts, "I'm bankrupt!" Why?
A: He was playing monopoly.
If you want to sharpen your own logic, you can find more brain teasers at
Today, I still use this practice of questioning what I'm not seeing. It’s my attempt to stay open to unseen answers to life’s boggling questions. When I’m faced with something particularly troubling, I inquire of myself “What if I’m thinking all wrong? What am I not seeing?” These simple questions can unlock a new perspective. A different way of seeing a situation.
The scripture, Luke 19:26, says “...I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” That’s a scripture about perspective. How can something be taken away from you if you have nothing? The fact is, what’s being taken from you is what you didn’t acknowledge you had!
No living human being has nothing. If you are alive, you have life! So there it is. Your something! Now, if you don’t open yourself to seeing that, you set yourself up to lose. If you don’t appreciate your good health, you’ll likely appreciate it only once it’s gone.
So when you’re complaining about all that you don’t have, stop and ask yourself, “What if I’m thinking all wrong? What am I not seeing?” You might just open up to the fact that you are indeed blessed. So why not start counting the ways?