The use of ingenuity to solve problems has declined considerably during the last decades. However, it is a highly recommended practice to reduce superfluous expenses and thus increase our savings. In this article we will see its importance and three examples of how, thanks to ingenuity, it was possible to promote the cultivation of potatoes in France in the seventeenth century, reduce the use of the Islamic headscarf in Turkey and change the soil of a place at a low price.
The decline and return of ingenuity as a problem solver
A few decades ago, Spain was a poor country. There was not much money, so it was necessary to find imaginative fixes to the setbacks that were arising. Over the years, the economy and resources grew, and monetary spending left behind the use of ingenuity when solving problems.
It is beyond any doubt that we are experiencing one of the worst crises in modern history. Gone are the years when it was relatively easy to find a well-paying job, in which many of us spend (and in many cases waste) the money earned from our work on unnecessary goods and services to solve our problems. If there was a problem, whatever money was necessary was invested to fix it.
What happens is that today you can no longer solve problems based on a checkbook. The time has come for us to use ingenuity again to find solutions to our problems. This is no longer an option, it is a must! Easy money is over (if it ever existed) and we need to put our brains to work again.
We may have lost practice a bit, it is true. However, knowing the future value of present savings, it must be maximized. So here are three examples of how imaginative solutions to problems were found without spending a penny more than necessary.
Promoting potato cultivation in France
The problem: They wanted to promote potato cultivation in seventeenth-century France, during the reign of Louis XIV, known as "the Sun King". The people were reluctant to use this crop, as they considered it dirty, so they used it only to feed animals.
The solution: A vegetable garden was planted in the Palace of Versailles with only potatoes and with great protection from the royal guard. This increased the curiosity of the citizens for this crop. Later, they stopped protecting him at night, making his “theft” possible by the citizens.
The result: Word spread and it didn't take long to steal this precious crop, which quickly spread throughout the country.
Turkey and the Islamic veil
The problem:Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, one of the founders and first president of the Turkish state wanted to modernize the image of his country. Among other goals, he wanted to reduce the use of the Islamic veil.
The solution: Instead of banning the veil, what he did was a law that forced prostitutes to wear this veil.
The result: Most of the women, those who were not engaged in the prostitution business, so as not to be mistaken for prostitutes, stopped wearing the veil, achieving Atatürk his goal.
Change the floor cheaply using ingenuity
The problem: The owners of Artisan Tattoo Gallery, in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania, USA) were looking for a cheap way to change the soil for their business.
The solution: Use pennies instead of tiles, and use volunteers paying discounted tattoos instead of cash to carry out the work.
The result: Change the floor to a totally original and imaginative one for only 3 dollars per square meter. In addition, the company obtained free publicity worldwide that broadly covers the costs that the reform could have caused them.
Use your wits to solve problems and save!
As you can see, it is possible to use ingenuity to solve problems for free (or almost). So the next time you have a problem you should ask yourself the following question: is there any way to solve this without spending money? Your bank account will end up thanking you!
- Louis XIV, the marketing genius
- Ataturk, a man in my fridge
- 250,000 pennies make for unique flooring