Do you like riddles?
When you encounter one, you try and find “the solution,” repeatedly coming up with different ways to solve it.
Most likely, after a while, you come up with a solution that satisfies the rules of the riddle.
A significant factor in the process you go through when solving such a riddle is the fact that you know there is at least one answer to the puzzle, a solution that satisfies all the rules.
Unless you know there is a solution, sooner or later, you would stop trying to find it - because there is the possibility that none exists.
Real-life problems are not riddles. There is no guarantee a solution exists.
But thinking about such problems as if they were riddles can make a huge difference!
Next time you have a problem you need to solve, imagine (convincingly) there’s already a solution someone has discovered. Your only task now is to find out what’s that solution.
I find that I can come up with a viable solution, and much faster, when I - mistakingly - believed there was one.
When I thought that the person was posing the problem to test me and see if I can solve it, in other words, when I believed his question was a riddle.
It is an extremely helpful assumption - make it and find the breakthrough you are looking for.