Solving Problems - Deepstash

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A universal way to solve problems, from a mathematical genius

Solving Problems

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 what cannot be seen easily.

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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 recognize, work on, and fill in the blanks when necessary. 

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.
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, can make a big difference in how you creatively find answers to your obstacles.

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.

Intelligence is not genius
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 think productively, not reproductively. They ask "How many different ways can I look at it?" not "What have I been taught by someone else on how to solve this?"

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 Galilei 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.