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# A universal way to solve problems, from a mathematical genius

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qz.com

It took Claude Shannon about a decade to fully formulate his seminal theory of information. He first flirted with the idea of establishing a common foundation for the many information technologies of his day (like the telephone, the radio, and the television) in graduate school.

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### Solving Problems

Problems have to be understood fundamentally before they are to be solved.

A problem may not just be a question requiring an answer but may require a process, and a methodology to see ...

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### Fully Understand A Problem

We are normally tackling a problem by straight away jumping towards an answer, which is a wrong methodology. We need to find the fundamental issue, developing an intuition for what we ar...

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### Shake The Problem

Once we find the true form of a problem, we are halfway towards a solution.

• Creatively reshaping and restructuring a problem makes us look at it from different angles, and prov...

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### Multiplying Minds

Analyzing a problem and finding a solution isn't just about a theoretical, quantitative understanding; it requires a creative and expansive mindset to multiply the information.

Having a go...

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### Good Problem Solving

Identifying and attacking a problem is a complex and three-dimensional process.

It takes both critical and creative thinking to effectively solve a problem.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

#### Systematic approach

Most people jump straight from finding a problem to attempting to solve it.

Having a systematic approach to how you deal with problems, as opposed to just going by gut and feelings, ca...

#### Study the problem first

Detectives and investigators use the process. They ask both obvious and unthinkable questions.

Get close and collect information about how the problem is manifesting.  Understand where the problem does and doesn’t happen, when the problem started, and how often the problem occurs to generate critical insight for the problem-solving effort.

#### Question for great answers

• Don’t look for solutions immediately; Keep redefining the problem until you arrive at the root cause.
• Don’t try to guess the solution; try to understand how the obstacles, or challenges manifest first.
• Gather data to analyze all potential root causes.
• Consider all options, regardless of how irrelevant they currently appear.
• Find a way to connect the dots. Make better analogies. One good analogy is worth three hours of discussion.

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#### Intelligence is not genius

Genius is not about having an extraordinarily high IQ, or even about being smart. It is not about finishing Mensa exercises in record time or mastering fourteen languages at the age of seven.

#### Geniuses and problem solving

Leonardo da Vinci believed you begin by learning how to restructure the problem by looking at it from many different angles.

In order to creatively solve a problem, the thinker should not use the usual approach that is based on past experience. Geniuses use several different perspectives to solve an existing problem and thereby also identify new ones.

#### Making your thoughts visible

Galileo revolutionized science by making his idea visible with diagrams, maps, and drawings. Einstein believed that words and numbers as they are spoken did not play a significant role in his thinking process.

Geniuses seem to develop a skill to display information in visual and spatial forms, rather than only mathematical or verbal lines.

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#### Intelligent preparation > Luck

If life were all about luck, the same people wouldn’t repeatedly do great things(Einstein, Elon Musk, Newton). When someone repeatedly does great things it is because they prepared in advance to re...

#### How to Do Great Things

• Believe that you are capable of doing important things.
• Be willing to look like an idiot.
• Strive for excellence.
• You need the feedback of reality in order to keep your feet planted on the ground.
• Focused investment of only one hour a day can double your lifetime output.
• Tolerate ambiguity.