The Art of Solving Any Problem: Advice from the Greats

roman-mager-59976-unsplash.jpg

Today I'm going to share with you all some recent thoughts I've had about problem solving. If you think about it, who in your circles do you go to for good advice? Who are the most pragmatic. Are these people hot-headed? Do they have a wild temperament?

I've been quite horizontal these past couple of weeks and I've found a very relaxed stable frame of mind has helped unravel a lot of complications. I've solved quite a few complex problems because I've managed to emotionally detach myself from said problem.

It's that same old adage, why can you always give good advice but never take your own. Because when you're knee deep in your own problems, it's harder to be objective. There's too much emotion involved.

I've done some more research, looked up a couple of smarter dudes than I on YouTube and wanted to share with you some content on how to be a better problem solver.

TONY ROBBINS 

Motivational speaker and author Tony Robbins was immediately top of my list, and Google's list when it came to finding an authoritarian on the subject of problem solving. 

Here are some quotes and synopsis on the art of problem solving from Tony Robbins: 

Problems are part of life. Life would be boring without problems. As the Chinese say, 'may you live in interesting times'. 

What you should be doing is once you've assessed the problem, work on the solution. Break it up into chunks, 80% of your time should be spent on resolving the problem, whilst only 20% on the problem itself.

Little problems become monsters the longer you dwell on them. First ascertain what is the challenge and how do I turn it around? 

You need to control your focus. And spend less time on the negatives like, 'Why is this happening to me. Why now, why always me?' 

None of that redundant thinking will get you anywhere. Instead use role models in your life to help get you out of a bind. Who else has been through similar crap and how did they manage it?

Imagine you're a parent and your problem is sleep deprivation. Or you can't get your kid enrolled in the school you wanted. Well look around, leverage your rolodex. Who managed to solve this problem previously. Or who has been through similar experiences that you admire and respect. Get their take and have them hand down their secrets on problem solving. 

Important tip

Don't get emotionally overwhelmed. 

Your inherit ability to handle any problem gets squashed because you have not managed to control your emotions.

Remember how great it feels to solve problems. Get in the problem solving business. Take on a massive challenge and pull it off. Be happy. Confident. Systematically handle every problem. It gives you great confidence and ensures a pride of accomplishment.

Manage your own state. Keep your shit together.

Define the problem, then solve the problem.

Come up with a brilliant plan and have momentum. A problem hates your momentum. It really hates when you have a rocket up your arse and won't quit.

3 by STEPS TONY MAZE 

I've never heard of Tony Maze either but I liked his take on reframing the word problem. I've done a quick summary of his theory below. 

Eliminate the word problem from our vocabulary. The oxford defines the word problem as a thing that is difficult to deal with or understand. This implies difficulty which leads on to destructive emotions.

Instead of framing a problem as a problem, call it a 'situation'.

The definition of a situation is as follows: All the circumstances that are happening in a  time and place.

A situation is what is happening. A problem is the difficulty we assign to the situation.  Remove the destructive emotions.

BEN SHAPIRO 

Ben Shapiro famously took down Piers Morgan on his argument for gun control. His take on how to solve problems are closely linked to his theories on how to win arguments. A lot of people’s problems are linked to others that hold some sort of domain over them. How can I confront my boss? How do I stand up to him/her etc. I've summed up some theories by Ben Shapiro below:

Facts don't care about your feelings. (Great quote). 

When you go into debate, say what you want to say. Know what the lead tactic is before you go in. When I took down Piers I knew going in he was going to bring out a kid whose parents had been killed by guns. 

I immediately told him that content of the argument was intellectually dishonest. That he was standing on the graves of murdered victims to make his point. Bring it back to facts, not emotions. If you want to attack me for being emotionally detached, then you're attacking my character not attacking my argument.

TED TALK Shreyans Jain 

God love me a Ted Talk. I often think what would I be able to do a Ted Talk on. Maybe the art of cooking steak. I make a mean steak. 

I digress. 

I got my head into a few Ted Talks regarding the art of problem solving so here are some thoughts shared by a gentleman by the name of Shreyans Jain. 

"We'll figure it out." The more you say it, the more you'll action it. Make it your mantra. Deconstruct any problem and kick ass in life. Say that every morning when you get up. 

Break down your problems, consider it a war of attrition, distil them. 

Important tip 

Problems are solutions waiting to be found. Stay cool. 

You to visualise the outcome. The power of visualisation is incredible. You need to focus on how we fix the problem. 

STEPHEN DUBNER

Fascinating dude that offers alternative sideways views on solving problems. Basically Stephen encourages the notion that you have to be creative to solve complex problems. Sometimes it takes an outsider, an anomaly to view conventional problems in an unconventional way. 

Many big problems are hold to solve because they're multi-layered. They include a lot of variables and people with perverse incentives. How do you solve the famine in India? Not doable. That's why the Brits moved out years ago, there was no hope in solving that problem. 

But what after many years of calcification, you have an anomaly, a freak of nature that comes along. Once in a lifetime like a Ghandi, or Bob Geldof or a Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Nelson Mandela. Someone that can galvanise people to look at problems for what they are.  

How did they solve problems? Through belief. Through optimism. Through peace.