8/09/2013

How to Solve Any Problem

Solving a problem requires a mindset of open endedness.

You stand on one side, the solution stands on the other.

It sits there, waiting patiently, to be found.

And it's your job to uncover all the solutions that don't work.

Until the actual solution presents itself.

Has anyone ever lost their keys?

How did you solve the problem?

Did you frantically start searching in every direction, forgetting where you already looked, haphazard approach of problem solving?

Or did you stop, get a picture in your mind, of where you last remember having your keys.

You retrace your steps, searching every place they could be.  You checked everywhere, they must have vanished.  So you sit down for a minute to regroup, what's that sound you hear.  It's the car outside, with the engine running, and the all doors are locked, with the ice cream melting.  Thus, you solved the problem by locating the keys.

However, you've discovered a newer, bigger problem or two.

Yikes, however, by removing all the places the keys weren't, you kept the problem open ended by not giving up the search, systematically reducing the possible solutions, until the answer presented itself.

And that's how problem solving works, you try things with an approach based on logic, until you've exhausted the search, where you stop and regroup, allow your mind to relax and free itself, and a bolt of lightning pops in with the answer, ah ha!

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