Can You Solve Your Candle Problem?

In 1945, psychologist Karl Duncker’s cognitive performance test – The Candle Problem – was published as a task designed to measure the influence of functional fixedness [rigid rules & regulations] on a participant’s problem solving capabilities.

The participant is provided with a table placed up against a wall, a candle, and a book of matches and a box of wall tacks. Using these items the participant is then asked to secure the candle to the wall, light it and ensure that none of the wax drops on the table below.

Before scrolling down — see if you can come up with a solution to the candle problem.

On the surface this problem is packaged like many of the issues we face as leaders on a day to day basis: We are given a set of resources designed to solve a dated problem or designed to function in a manner that is not right-fitted to our specific needs. This consequently, leads most to believe that the problems that arise in a fast paced competitive work environment are insurmountable.

How do Maven Leaders turn limitations into opportunities?

By Thinking Outside of The Box

Maven Leaders understand how difficult it can be to view the box holding the tacks as anything more than what it was intentionally created for, but they also understand that progress comes from our ability to see the world differently: with 540 Degree Awareness we enable our perceptual recognition, which allows one to explore all of the available options — both orthodox and unorthodox – and then Test for Success.

This approach keeps Maven Leaders focused on the big picture, opposed to obsessing over the details, issues or limitations we are confronted with on a daily basis. That is to say, it allows us to remove the tacks from the box in the early stages of addressing proverbial candle problems — a decision that helps our teams focus on solving problems; and avoid Dying in The Fight.

Unlock the Power of Personal Accountability Questions

Close your eyes & imagine yourself in front of your next target:

Pull with all of your strength, breath from the diaphragm and aim with respect to the wind. If patience is in your repertoire — when the moment is right — you just may hit your target.

The question then becomes were you aiming in the right direction?

This is one of the most important questions that too many refuse to ask themselves.

A premise at the crux of the QBQ method — question behind the question — which aims to determine how one person can contribute more towards the bottom line. By moving away from “surface level” concerns and towards more substantive inquiries, which more accurately reflect ones true feelings &/or aspirations.


Surface Level Questions Vs. Aspirational Questions

Most of us have never been an archer, but many of us have played a game of darts.

Think back to how you prepared for a match.

Did you follow the steps mentioned in the paragraph above or some scaled down variation?

Now imagine if the goal was to hit a target on the other side of the dart board or more practically on the other side of a veil — how would you precede?

If you’re like most people, you would find the request confusing… Then ask yourself something akin to the following:

  • Why would I want to hit a target beyond my aim?
  • Why are you asking me to change?
  • Why would I want to change my approach?
  • Why didn’t you tell me this before?
  • Why would you ask me to do something uncomfortable?

“Change is generally uncomfortable, but often necessary to maximize performance.” — Donte’ A. Bundrent

Q.B.Q. Method

The QBQ method is premised on the observation that our first reactions are often negative reminding us of the incorrect question (iQ). Thus, the one guiding principle of the QBQ is that “the answers are the questions.”

The QBQ method compels us to focus on a particular type of question that forces us to think in a different way.

Shifting ones approach from the pursuit of answers, and towards the habit of questioning preexisting answers and identifying opportunities to take responsibility for future outcomes. A shift towards personal accountability in respect to our lives and organizations.

Apply this approach to your personal / professional life and you will quickly find that you are leaving opportunity for improvement on the table or better yet, underneath the table.

Opportunities that will demand action. Realized by asking yourself personal accountability questions, which illuminate our true targets behind the veil. Targets that in the past would have remained hidden — out of sight and out of mind, like the backside of a dart board.

Finding QBQ answers is the process of peeling back the onion.

With the removal of each layer you will gain a deeper insight into your pain points and goals. With the end result being an escape from victimization, procrastination, and counterproductive blame games.


“Lead from the front and identify pain points.”

The man or woman, who is willing to go towards the problems, is the leader who is capable of navigating the team through the worst storms.

These leaders take responsibility for performance outcomes. By making better decisions and being accountable for improvements while questioning past methodology.

Peel & Shot

“Consistency is way more important than intensity,” — SimonSinek

The perfect shot still has room for improvement. As we continue to hone our craft and ask ourselves probing questions we position ourselves for unfettered growth. The process of digging deeper will expose the roots of our organization and allow us to fertilize our strategic process, and in turn establish new work flows while avoiding potential pitfalls. Removing the mask or veil surrounding our areas of opportunity.

In short, QBQ is a fundamentally straight forward process of asking ourselves “why” & “how” questions until we reach the core issue:

Why or Why Not? How or How To?


Key Takeaways

  • It takes time to reach our core issues, our onions have many layers, some which we have grown over like the rings in a tree trunk, but in the end, if we take action — we will unlock our true potential.
  • Personal Accountability is something you can start working towards today.

Questioning our answers can be tough. Especially when we have grown accustom to a given shortcut or heuristic.

@DarimusBe Aboutit.co

Write Your Own Playbook

I was at a party, “frat boy wasted” you could say… Flirting with a pretty smile in a pencil skirt 💃 while pouring a drink for a wavy haired girl 🧜🏼‍♀️ at the same time.

Man, the room was spinning & your boy was trying his best to keep up with it’s dance.”

(But & there is always a “but.”)

My body wasn’t responding to the rigors of the nightlife like it used too: I had gained a little comfort weight or let’s be honest a lot of fat! Brought about in large part while wrestling with the stress of a high pressure job.

The stress was winning!

Combined with the daunting task of being a leader, trainer, & friend I managed to look satisfied & successful on the outside… While on the inside I was struggling.

My Body needed a Fix Fast in more ways than One.

Fast forward a few days after the aforementioned night when by my normal measure –multiple phone numbers, most ladies enjoyed themselves & no fights — things were great.

The reality of my roller coaster lifestyle was approaching a tipping point internally. My recovery was slower, my energy level had decreased but I still felt confident until…

The moment when my reality check kicked in:

I step out of the shower “thinking” I’m my 21 year old self: The invincibleversion. Still riding the high of a string of eventful days when I do something out of the ordinary…

I take a long look at myself in the mirror. Here is a list of some of the key things I saw:

  • A JollyBelly (I like to laugh 😂 but I’m not jolly!😤)
  • A WeatheredAppearance (It’s like the Youth & Vitality of my face was being stripped away prematurely.)
  • Stress (I had always prided myself on being cool, calm & collected but at this stage — boy was I wrong!)

Life had always been a battlefield but at this moment I realized I maybe losing. For one like myself who had a long list of victories which dated back to childhood…

My perspective had changed in an instance and for the 1st time my confidence was diminished. This all happened in an instance — once I finally took a longlook at myself in the mirror.

What do you do when you are mentally, meta-physically, & physically drained?

In my case, it served as a smack in the face! It felt like life was trying to Beetle Bailey me…

But I wasn’t going out without a fight…. I was going to take a stand. Making money wasn’t enough. I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied until I mastered my destiny & reclaimed the helm of my ship!

To accomplish this, I decided it was time to RewriteMyPlaybook. By challenging myself to make the leap from good to great.

Personal Life 180

I started prioritizing mental & physical health as a part of my pursuit of prosperity & wellness.

This change required me to address the constant fatigue, pre-hypertensive blood pressure, weight induced sleep apnea, high cholesterol & (mostimportantly) for me to reforge my once bulletproof confidence.

“Somebody said it couldn’t be done but he with a chuckled reply, said maybe it couldn’t but he would be one that wouldn’t say so til he tried.”

I tried. I succeeded. I’ll save the details for another post.

(They include a lot of honesty, introspection, a little addition by subtraction, patience, humility, a lot of hard workouts & a few well earned victories!)


Key Takeaway

The monkey slowly climbs on your back — but we usually feel it’s weight in an instance.” — Donte’ A. Bundrent

Don’tSleep! The time is now: The time for you to be the GOAT.