Patterns, and therefore insight and answers, appear between facts and details. Intelligence is about finding the patterns, finding how the facts fit together. This can seem easy under some circumstances, difficult under others. Often the answer seems obvious once discovered, even if it seems to have taken forever at the time.
A simple story about a woman not leaving her alcoholic, abusive lover seems to have a simple solution. We can see that she needs to leave him, problem solved. But a well written book or film about this situation will not be so cut and dried. The woman has some reason for staying; if we were really in her perspective we would feel the same, even if we logically knew the answer we would feel the conflict – wanting to stay verses knowing we would eventually be better once we left.
Of course there may be more facts beyond this. Perhaps the lover is famous, and the woman loses everything should she leave. Or perhaps she realizes that leaving alone does not stop the abuse; the irate lover many become more violent than ever and stalk her.
One way to approach this is to look at it from some distance. Imagine somebody viewing it from space, or as a part of an ongoing history. It is easy to give advice and see patterns; we are not involved and do not have the hard work to undertake or the consequences to face. We can act like we have to give orders and let others do the work. This detachment is useful.
When people talk about not seeing the forest for the trees, or children notice that the TV picture are made of little dots (pixels) they are getting a hint of this problem. Have a detached perspective can help; other people’s issues are sometimes easier to see than our own. Even our own problems sometime look relatively simple after a few years have passed.
Puzzles, mystery novels and escape rooms challenges have the advantage of detachment. We make decisions, but do not have to act on them as real people in a similar situation would. And as there is no actual murder in a murder mystery we don’t have to face unpleasant emotions or consequences. Try the best escape room game Sydney as to offer, and exercise your (collective) brains. It’s all hypothetical, but that does not make it any less entertaining.