Puzzles, Patterns and Illumination

8 5 4 9 1 7 6 3 2 0

What pattern do you see in the numbers above?

Take a minute or two and think.  Enjoy the interlude photo while you do.

When I was first confronted with the number string above I defaulted to the obvious line of thought, “There must be a numeric pattern here.” Math traditionally has not been a strong point of mine, but I kept the paradigm that because number were used it must be a number pattern.

If you have not already guessed, it is not a number pattern, but a word pattern. Now words, I like, and have been pretty good with over time. (Spelling is a separate issue.) Had I moved from my traditional paradigm (unconscious thought pattern) that number must have something to do with numbers I might have arrived at the answer much more quickly.

Alphabetical order, the numbers are in alphabetical order. Thank you Alan Weiss for providing this wonderful example of missing the obvious because of the unconscious.

Puzzles are a favorite of mine, and puzzles are bout about recognizing patterns and putting together pieces that seem disparate. Now that is a paradigm to use- What is the connection between these seemingly unrelated things. Maybe there is not, but maybe there is something and it will be illuminating and how can you resist that idea?

What unconscious patterns of thought are you using? Are they helpful or are they limiting?


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