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Use First Principles Thinking to Solve Impossible Problems

https://www.riskology.co/first-principles-thinking/

riskology.co

Use First Principles Thinking to Solve Impossible Problems
The gist: If you want to solve hard problems in unique ways, "first principles thinking" is the strategy that works for the world's most creative people. "If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes."

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Albert Einstein

"If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes."

Albert Einstein

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First Principles Thinking

First Principles Thinking
We normally use existing methodologies and analogies to solve problems, which is essentially short-cut thinking.
Engaging in 'First Principles Thinking' makes us discard existing knowledge, and get down to the essentials, exploring on our own and questioning everything. This uncharted terrain takes us to the absolute truth which we call the First Principle. When we understand the core of the problem, we can build creative and unique solutions.

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    Using The First Principles Thinking

    The First Principles Thinking can be applied in our daily life:

    • Starting a business requires first principles thinking to build a fundamentally better product or service.
    • On a busy day, first principles thinking makes us do what's essential while not being bogged down with time constraints.
    • Applying the first principles toward good health will make us feel considerably better than obeying some diet or exercise routine that we hate.

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    Solving Difficult Problems

    1. Take moment and think of a problem bugging you and write all the reasons you think the problem is difficult to solve.
    2. With each of the reasons, self-verify by questioning yourself to see if it is valid or not.
    3. Keep asking yourself till you get to the root, the fundamental truth which cannot be denied.
    4. With a few runs, you will be able to test different solutions and find effective answers quickly.

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    Practical ways to use First Principles Thinking

    • If you’re starting a business, use first principles to build a product or service that’s fundamentally better than the competition.
    • If your day is too busy, first princip...

    First-principles thinking

    Breaking down complicated problems into basic elements and then reassemble them from the ground up.

    It’s one of the best ways to learn to think for yourself, unlock your creative poten...

    A first principle

    ...is a foundational proposition or assumption that stands alone. We cannot deduce first principles from any other proposition or assumption.

    Reasoning by first principles removes the impurity of assumptions and conventions. What remains is the essentials. 

    Cutting through the dogma

    If we never learn to take something apart, test the assumptions, and reconstruct it, we end up trapped in what other people tell us.

    We remain trapped in the way things have always been done. When the environment changes, we just continue as if things were the same.

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    First Principles Thinking

    First Principles Thinking

    Is the act of deconstructing something to the fundamental parts that you know are true and building up from there.

    Also called reasoning from first principles, it effectively he...

    Elon Musk

    Elon Musk

    “Physics teaches you to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. So I said, okay, let’s look at the first principles. What is a rocket made of? Aerospace-grade aluminum alloys, plus some titanium, copper, and carbon fiber. Then I asked, what is the value of those materials on the commodity market? It turned out that the materials cost of a rocket was around two percent of the typical price.”

    One Method, Different Solutions

    Different solutions present themselves at different layers of abstraction. Depending on how deep and thorough is your breakdown of the situation, putting them all back together may yield different solutions.