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Nowadays, continuously changing social and business environments challenge us to think different. However, as adults we often find ourselves with a diminished ability to imagine, use creativity, think in unconventional ways.

Scientists and researchers suggest that it is the social pressure to conform that limits our opportunities and ability to think differently; schools, work environments, communities encourage us to follow the shared rules, to think alike, to blend in. Also, as adults, we tend to get stuck in our routines, we do things in repetitive way and as a consequence we become less able to use our creativity.

Is this process reversible?

Is it possible to regain the ability to think different, to approach problems in new and innovative ways? Recent studies show that anyone who makes the effort to think different can actually think different.

So what shall we do to regain our ability to create and innovate?

Studies indicate that brain training (or better, re-training) is crucial; we have to stretch our brain, push it outside the comfort zone, encourage it to find alternatives and take multiple perspectives.

Nowadays, there are quite a few resources (such as books and websites) offering tools to improve our brain’s abilities. And there are puzzles and games suitably designed to stimulate our ability to think in unconventional ways.

Here below, you’ll find a few popular lateral thinking puzzles. This is just a little taster to get you started with some exercise. Test yourself, have fun and let us know how you did!
(answers attached at bottom)


Anthony and Cleopatra are lying dead on the floor of a villa in Egypt. Nearby is a broken bowl. There is no mark on either of their bodies and they were not poisoned. How did they die?





By moving just 3 balls, can you make the triangular pattern point down instead of up?






Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the stars so that each side of the triangle adds up to 17.






Can you move the arrow in the centre of the square by cutting the square into two pieces and rearranging them? (draw the square on a piece of paper, then cut it in two and try to rearrange the pieces).





ACTIVITY 5 - The famous one “Nine dots”

Join all nine dots by drawing no more than four straight lines. You must not lift your pen from the paper once you start drawing.





Can you obtain 2 squares by removing just 2 sticks ?





Can you make this arrow smaller, without using the eraser?





Download questions and answers here



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