The Ron Popeil Method of Problem-Solving

My favorite Ron Popeil commercial was always the rotisserie chicken machine. “Set it and forget it!” Who doesn’t want to have delicious, juicy chicken roasting in their kitchen, being basted by a machine?

Showtime rotisserie machine

Stay with me a minute while I equate your brain to that self-basting rotisserie machine.

Your unconscious mind is capable of doing a lot of heavy lifting while you’re going about your daily tasks. According to a University of Alberta study, it’s constantly evaluating whether objects in your environment are helping you move toward your goals or away from them.

Your unconscious can be creative, even while you’re vacuuming or playing golf or filling out timesheets.

So if you’re trying to come up with a new idea, a blog topic, a cartoon, a product design, it pays to “set it and forget it.”

This mechanism is the basis for Think and Grow Rich, The Secret, Oprah’s dream boards, and enough self-help books to fill the Grand Canyon.

But wait, there’s more!

You can try this in your very own home for the low, low price of….nothing!

Step One – What’s Your Problem?

Think very vividly and in detail about the parameters of your problem. Say it out loud to yourself, write it down, describe it to someone else. Just define what you’re trying to solve (perhaps you’re just looking for a great blog topic).

Step Two – Go About Your Business

That’s it. Totally forget about your issue, and concentrate on another task that’s unrelated. Do the laundry, file your taxes, finish that re-branding project, anything that distracts you from the problem.

That’s when the magic happens. Delicious, juicy, rotisserie chicken, just for you.

Author’s Bio: Rosemary O’Neill is an insightful spirit who works for social strata — a top ten company to work for on the Internet . Check out the Social Strata blog. You can find Rosemary on Google+ and on Twitter as @rhogroupee


  1. says

    I would like to add that the reason this works well is that we are getting our conscious mind out of the way. The conscious mind can only reason based on what it already knows. The subconscious mind however, is an expanded source of inspiration, creativity & insight.
    This post was well written and right on the money… or should I say rotisserie chicken..

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