Baker Street has many famous associations. It was after all the world’s first underground public railway station in 1863. And of course it has many literary associations, the most elementary one being the home of detective Sherlock Holmes.
Baker Street is also famous for having a song of the same name. Gerry Rafferty’s ‘Baker Street’ was a worldwide hit in 1976. (There are other stations with a musical namesake, including Rod Stewart’s ‘Angel’)
A great technique for getting you to ask better quality questions is to use the medium of song. Let’s be inspired by our tube stations with a musical association and create a musical association for your creative journey.
Here’s how it works:
1. Write down your problem as a question: For example, “How can I get a pay rise at work?”
2. Think of a familiar song.
3. Now, sing the song but use your question as the lyrics and let yourself go.
Be spontaneous. Go with your mental flow.
Add words, thoughts, phrases arising from your question that seem to fit the melody. Don’t stop and correct yourself if words and bad English, seem nonsense, jibberish. Keep going to the rhythm and momentum of the song.
4. Listen to what you are singing. (You can also tape yourself). What new words, dimensions, new insights can you get to your problem?
5. How would you rewrite your problem after the experience of singing it? Inevitably, you will find you have more than one problem. Write them down as separate questions.
6. You will find this technique helping you on a journey of better defining your question: it can help redefine even Zone 10 problems become Zone 6 or Zone 1 problems.
In the example of the problem “How can I get a pay rise at work?, I sang the question to the tune of ‘Happy Birthday’.
I came out with lines such as “How can I get more from what I do, How can show what I add to you….”
From this I redefined my original question to: “What added value do I offer?”
“How can I demonstrate the benefits of this added value to the people who can give me more money?”
From these new beautiful questions a number of new ideas and solutions emerged.