Problem Solving


Instead of rejecting ideas right away, it helps to delay the decision regarding which idea to work on, and which ones to put in the wastebasket. Have people rate your ideas and get a signal about what is worth working on.

An abstract idea, if given thought and further brainstorming, can gain legs and become exciting, something to pursue on. Thinking about ideas that might fail may seem counterintuitive, but can be the pathway towards a trillion-dollar project.

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Problem Solving

We Are Going After The Wrong Ideas

People rarely assess what their ideas are worth in an accurate way, failing to see the potential of the real gems and moving forward with less-promising or safer ventures.

While brainstorming, the second or third choice of ideas which are lower priority to us, often resonate well with others. The person with the ideas is paying more attention to the less abstract ideas which are close to their ultimate goal and do not need much imagination or foresight.

The ideas that are buried deep down are often abstract, and have true potential if we work towards them. These are not the low-hanging fruit, but are brilliant and revolutionary if worked upon.

Just like concept albums that sometimes have revolutionary music but are not released in the mainstream market, second-place ideas have the potential to change the world but are not highlighted due to their ‘wildness’ or unrealistic assumptions.

  • All leaders have to be good readers, not to impress people, but to be better at their role.
  • The knowledge that makes us better is worth knowing.
  • One does not have 20 lifetimes to do trail and error with life, and needs to stand on the shoulder of giants.
  1. Read first thing in the morning: Avoid social media and pick a good book.
  2. Read without haste or hurry, maybe just a page a day.
  3. Have a book with you always, and read while to commute or eat.
  4. Read while you relax to nourish your brain.
  5. Find a repository of ideas, quotes, anecdotes or observations, or make one.
  6. Read great books from the masters again and again: They change shape and colour, impacting your mind in different ways as you grow.
  7. Understand that you have ample time to read. If you don’t have time, you need to read why.
  1. Reading is our moral duty: We read because knowledge is power. We become weak and are easily manipulated if we don’t read.
  2. Reading is a way to see the future: The truth is old and preserved in most classic books, which is rehashed and repackaged into newer formats and writing styles to suit the modern generation.
  3. Reading makes you learn from the past: According to stoics, it is inexcusable to not learn from the past.
  4. Reading makes us an informed citizen: If you want to know what is going on in the world, read biographies, stoicism and psychology books. Go deep and find the real truth, instead of hanging on to the latest news spin.
  5. Reading softens your solitude: A library is a whispering post, a place where the voices of the greats are longing to get in your head, and even if you are alone, you can listen to them and be part of the greatest conversations in the world.
  6. Books are our true friends: Books are always there, not shouting or yelling at us. They quietly offer profound knowledge without asking anything in return, and they help us create imaginative worlds in our minds.
  • One is not really educated if the habit of reading is absent from their lives.
  • To not avail yourself of the treasure of knowledge is stupid.
  • To not take advice and valuable lessons and not apply them in your profession is often a costly mistake.

Our problems seem special and insurmountable, but they are petty and common. Most of them are already solved in the various books around us.

Reading is a conversation with the greatest people: Books are our conversations with Shakespeare, Lincoln, Einstein, and many others we wish to speak with. They are waiting for us, even after death, to sit and have a dialogue.

The Lost Art Of Reading
  • There is not secret of reading more, and the only way is to just do it. It is like eating, a non-negotiable activity of our lives.
  • Still we need to find the motivation, the justification and the time to do what we should be doing anyway.
  • The problem is compounded in the last decade as the world gets more and more distractional.
The best-case scenario

The best-case scenario is seldom the one that happens. It is okay to hope for the best. Some degree of optimism is necessary for trying anything new. Without it, we would not start a business or enter a new relationship.

Even when the best-case scenario comes to pass, it rarely unfolds according to plan. Unforeseen problems may appear due to lack of information. Or our ideas may take much longer to implement.

We rarely achieve the ideal. The more complicated a situation, the more people it involves, the more variables and dependencies that exist, the more unlikely it will work out perfectly.

The problem is that while there are many possible outcomes for any given endeavour, we only consider the best case. While it might come to pass, you're better off preparing for the likelihood that it won't.

Knowing that the future will not work out exactly as planned, it is better to prepare for a variety of outcomes, including some of the bad ones. Then, when the worst-case scenario happens, we realize it's not all bad, and we can manage if it happens again.

It will give you peace of mind that you can handle a wide spectrum of possible challenges.

Maya Angelou

"Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between".

  1. Choose the right information sources, moving towards joy and positivity.
    2. Avoid conversations that drain us and move towards stimulating ones.
  2. Cut back on the harmful, useless, negative and time-wasting social media content, unfollowing the toxic people.
  3. Start a journal and reflect on your personal growth and learning journey.
  4. Try to enjoy life and have fun, as much can be learned through play.

While our brain has about a million GB of space, the real limitation or constraint is the time and mental energy. We do not really know how much physical energy we require just to do some mental work.

We need to focus on selective information, actively deciding to not engage in junk news consumption, and other mentally draining activities, saving our mental bandwidth for things we want to focus on.

  • Though we would like to, we cannot learn everything and do everything.
  • We need to be selective in our choices while consuming content from diverse sources, provided we find it enjoyable and worthwhile.
  • We have to say no to a thousand things to be able to focus on what truly matters and to cut out the noise.
  • Focusing selectively helps in removing distractions, reducing stress, and improving concentration.
Intentional Knowledge: Selective Ignorance

Ignorance indeed is bliss, if practised selectively. News, people, topics, projects can drain a lot of our energy, and most of us seep into everything knowledgeable, thinking it’s the right thing to do.

The unlimited amount of information available on news sites, podcasts, social media can overwhelm anyone. One has to cultivate an intentional approach to one’s content consumption, work and relationships.

Daniel J. Boorstin

"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge".

Though it requires time and practice, one can start selective ignorance by pruning unproductive and boring activities, negativity, unhealthy choices, and irrelevant content.

We need to find the right balance between the stuff we like and what we find useful, leaving out the tedious and draining tasks, choices and activities.

Jeff Bezos's Regret-minimization framework
Project yourself forward to the age of 80. Looking back on your life, you want to minimize the number of regrets. 

Thinking about your potential regrets give you clarity. It also helps you to remove a few pieces of confusion in the present caused by alternative paths. It helps you make the right decision more easily.

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