Sometimes reading a book like The Family Tree Problem Solver: Proven methods... will give me new ideas to break through my brick walls. Sometimes the solutions will come to me while I am taking a genealogy class from an institution of higher learning. Sometimes it requires consulting with someone else who can give the problem their fresh perspective.
If you really want to solve a problem keep that family on your mind all the time. Ideas will come to you. Be willing to try new approaches and go the extra mile. It is okay to switch your focus to another line for awhile, but let your mind wonder back to your brick wall often.
There is a principle in family history work that is not generally taught, but to me it rings the most true. That principle is faith. Faith is believing in something that you can't see, but is still there. I can't see it, but sincerely feel I am going to solve all my "brick walls" someday. Faith takes action. I have to do everything within my power to find my ancestors. Faith takes patience. I have hired a professional, taken a college course on Irish genealogy, watched a few webinars, read a well known book on the subject, and done everything I learned plus some, without being able to go past my Irish 4th-great grandfather, Charles McCormick. Patience requires that I do not give up. It requires that I continue on a path of learning my whole life.
Balance is another important principle of genealogy research that seems to be more assumed than taught. I could drop all my other goals, move to Ireland and spend the rest of my life looking at all the historic records that exist. That is an unreasonable choice for me. Good genealogy research requires balance. After all, Charles McCormick is not the only ancestor who deserves my attention.
Keeping that in mind, I wholeheartedly believe in genealogy miracles. Last Monday, the 15th, one of those miracle happened. Actually, they happen all the time.