Let’s face it, people are having trouble solving simple problems. I mean shi’t, where did we go wrong? How did we mess up so bad when it comes to problem solving? Easy. Not every problem is as simple as 2+2. Effective problem solving isn’t reinforced enough in our society. Even the scientific method is half assed in schools.
People are reduced to decision making based on random observations. That’s called guessing. Who the Hell wants to live their entire life just guessing what is effective and what isn’t?
- Step1 – Information: Research. Make sure you know how to weed out the good information from the bad
- Step 2 – Knowledge: Experience. Get “hands on” with the issue
- Step 3 – Habit: Repetition: Be consistent with your method until it becomes habitual
Problem Solving 101
“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”
― Albert Einstein
Problem Solving – Information
There’s a right and wrong way of finding information. If you google “how to lose weight”, you’ll find a bunch of random blogs and forums with no sources. The reason this is bullshi’t is because they can’t prove what they’re telling you. You have to pretty much take a strangers word for it.
Usually, published information comes from a scientific study. Not all scientific studies are created equal. To those unfamiliar with the scientific method, familiarize yourselves with it. All studies must follow a certain set of rules. If they don’t, they’re observations at best.
Making an observation, then drawing a conclusion from it is dangerous. Here’s a previous entry of mine about what’s wrong with observations.
Gathering information should be less confusing after you know the good from the bad. Information is extremely important. Sometimes, without information, people are forced into trial and error situations. Looking up the information can save you plenty of time. This is probably the biggest step because applying inaccurate information can lead to developing bad habits.
The next step is to take that gathered information and put it into practice.
Problem Solving – Knowledge
“Information is not knowledge.”–Albert Einstein
Knowledge comes from experiences. Knowing how something works isn’t the same as operating it. Let’s take driving for example. There is a lot of information on doing it, but there are a lot of details that are overseen. One can’t gauge the distance from the parked cars or how soon to brake when approaching a stoplight just by reading reliable information.
The same goes for things not so technical. For example, if you’re reading a tutorial for putting a custom computer together, you may do it well, just from the information you’re reading. When it comes time to fix it though, you’ll learn from doing . The tutorial will miss little details like over tightening a screw that will end up being difficult to take out.
Information is the foundation. With knowledge, you’re working out the kinks, the small details from your information, to the problem(s). In other words, information + experience = knowledge.
Problem Solving – Habit
Making your methods of addressing an issue a habit is just as important as arriving at the solution. For example; cleaning your room may be annoying, but if you learn to clean up a little everyday and stay consistent, it’ll be a part of your life. You’ll wake up in the morning and do it without thinking. The same thing applies to other solutions.
If you’re searching for a job and get into the habit of job searching, don’t break the habit, even if you find a job. Let’s say you find a temporary position and you stop looking for jobs. When your position is over, you’re going to have a hard time picking up where you left off. So it’s a good idea to at least keep it in practice to some degree, so you won’t lose your edge.
The Best Player
I’ll leave you guys off with a riddle that will help with your problem solving skills. All the tools to conclude the answer are there. Please don’t hesitate to leave your answer in the comment section alone with your breakdown of it!
Mr. Scott, his sister, his son, and his daughter are tennis players. The following facts refer to the people mentioned:
1. The best player’s twin and the worst player are of opposite sex.
2. The best player and the worst player are the same age.
Which one of the four is the best player?