But When You Don't Have a Hammer

When you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. But what about when you don’t have a hammer? Then every nail becomes an unsolvable problem.

This morning on my ride to work, I realized my chain was loose. My unexperienced mechanical analysis pegged the issue as a loose screw. Arriving at work, where I unfortunately don’t have any screwdrivers, I assembled my tools: a push pin, an ID clip, my ID, a bobby pin, and a letter opener (I should really keep a multi-tool in my backpack).

You see, when you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. But what if you don’t have a hammer, and you have dozens of nails to pound in? That’s when the real delight of creativity comes in: instead of waiting for a hammer to materialize from thin air, look around. Stop thinking that every problem just has one solution, and find something else that might work. You’ll be surprised how many objects can be repurposed in a pinch.


*the bike malfunction ended up being simple enough for me to fix with my bare hands (I know, I was relieved but also little disappointed). But it still inspired a blog, so the whole thing wasn’t a failure (more so because I didn’t get stranded on the bike path at 7 a.m.).