Posts tagged: Perplexed Planner

Clueless: Cher gets unstuck as a Perplexed Planner

Her stuck moment: Pretty and popular Cher has the wiles to fix every problem under the California sun. But when she falls for a guy who knows her too well to succumb to her usual shenanigans, she finds herself drawing a blank on how to nab him.

She clears the clutter: Cher gets vulnerable. She lets go of the stunts and ruses that she typically depends on, and tells Josh how she really feels. 

Unstuck result: Josh admits that he has feelings for her too, and they share a tender kiss on the
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Obstacle breakthrough: How to stop being stumped

You can try to stare down an obstacle until it goes away — but we don’t recommend it.

Actually, we like obstacles quite a bit. When something blocks our path, it sparks us in a couple of good ways.

First, it fires up our problem-solving skills. We get to flex parts of our brain that aren’t required when everything runs as expected. It’s not comfortable, but makes us feel alive in the moment as we puzzle through it. Then when it’s solved, well, that’s reason to rejoice that we’ve learned something.

Obstacles also remind us that it will get better. As Frank Clark, an author and military historian, once said, “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”

Time and confidence show that things almost always work out. Maybe not as we planned, but we’re more adaptable than we give ourselves credit for. Except when we’re stuck acting
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What do you do when the system stops working?

Perplexed Planner

Stuck moment: You love when things run smoothly — some say you’re a master at it — and right now it’s the opposite of that. As far as you can tell, nothing has changed. Still, you’ve started over…several times. Checked and rechecked. Even referred to the manual. Why. Won’t. This. Work! 

Such is the frustration of Perplexed Planners. So full of determination to make it work that they can only see what is, not what could be. And that’s a major handicap when it comes to solving a problem.

We’ve all been there from time to time, but not always in the same way. There are at least three shades of Perplexed Planners. To find out your tendency, take our mini-quiz below. We’ll follow up next week with tips for each type of Planner.

Think of a time when a tactic that’s always served you well stopped working. It might be how you
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How we get stuck acting like a Perplexed Planner

There’s real joy to be had when things run smoothly. We know where we’re headed and what to expect. It’s comfortable and confidence building. We are in control…until we’re not.

It’s inevitable that at times our blueprint for success fails us. How we usually think about a situation or person doesn’t seem to work anymore, and then we’re stuck, acting like a Perplexed Planner.

Even the best operators can get discombobulated. And if we persist in sticking to our known tactics, we’ll stay that way. This is when we need to flip it, to channel our persistence into new ways of thinking.

Consider the pop artist Keith Haring. The more famous he became, the less accessible his art was to regular folks. So he changed his thinking and opened a retail store, an unthinkable act in the world of fine art. And it worked.

To think differently about an obstacle, we need to
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The value of facing obstacles

For people who are doers — you know, those seemingly super-beings we rely on to make our world turn — obstacles are the enemy, the Anti-Progress. When a barrier is thrown in a doer’s path, it’s easy to get stuck as a Perplexed Planner, with all the tried-and-true methods failing to make headway.

But the absence of obstacles in life is also Anti-Greatness. If we’re never challenged, it’s unlikely we’ll be driven to improve or innovate. So from a things-can-always-get-better perspective, obstacles are good for us. They cause us to think differently so we can clear them up and go about our even-more-productive
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Mickey Rourke’s Stuck Moment as a Perplexed Planner

His stuck moment: Despite his onscreen success in films such as “The Pope of Greenwich Village” and “9 ½ Weeks,” Rourke felt he was self-destructing.

He clears the clutter: Rourke left acting (and his acting demons) to go back to the boxing ring after a 20-year absence.

Unstuck result: In three years, he scored six wins and two draws. Rourke has since returned to acting, starting with supporting roles, and in 2009 won the Golden Globe for best actor in “The Wrestler.”

(All information comes from public sources and does not imply endorsement of
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Georgia O’Keeffe’s Stuck Moment as a Perplexed Planner

Her stuck moment: A nervous breakdown in 1932—brought on by the extramarital affairs of her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, and a looming deadline for a Radio City Music Hall mural—stalled O’Keefe’s ability to paint.

She clears the clutter: She went to Bermuda and then to New Mexico to recuperate and distance herself from her frustrations, including her husband. 

Unstuck result: After her recovery in New Mexico, O’Keeffe was inspired to paint some of her most famous works, including “Summer Day,” from 1936.

(All information comes from public sources and does not imply endorsement of
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Keith Haring’s Stuck Moment as a Perplexed Planner

His stuck moment: Haring’s chalk drawings in New York City subways struck a chord with the city’s populous and gave wide exposure to the young art student’s work. As his fame grew, his artwork became less accessible to the masses.

He clears the clutter: Going against art world conventions, Haring opened the Pop Shop retail store in lower Manhattan. He considered it an extension of his work and an approachable way to attract a broad range of people.

Unstuck result: The shop was an instant success, selling T-shirts, toys, posters, buttons, and magnets with Haring images. It remained a physical store until 2005 and now continues online at

(All information comes from public sources and does not imply endorsement of
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