My father is a physicist, and whenever and I had some tough physics problem in my homework I would come to him for help. There is one advice he would give me that I can still remember. He would say: “sketch out the problem and understand what is going on before you try to solve it.”
The interesting thing is that this exercise will help you solve pretty much any problem in your life, be it a professional or a personal one.
Why? Because we almost never take the time to analyze and understand our problems before we try to solve them. We think we do, but we don’t.
For example, we all go through some kind of financial problem sooner or later. In order to solve it, however, we just “think” about it, maybe before going to sleep, maybe on the commute to work, and then we take a decision. Some of us might talk with other people asking for their opinions, but that is it.
How many of us actually sit down with pen and paper (and a calculator in this case), sketch out the parts involved in the problem and analyze what is going before trying to find the best decision to take? I would guess not many.
Here is another example. Given that you read this blog I am pretty sure you want to make your blog or website popular. But have you ever sit down with pen and paper to sketch out what factors make a blog popular, how they interact together, what kind of strategies you can use in your own case and so on? Again I would guess the vast majority haven’t done this.
And keep in mind that the sketching part is essential. When you draw and write things down you basically increase the processing power of your brain, because it becomes much easier to visually the elements involved, to understand how they are related, and to discover new aspects of the problem you hadn’t considered forehand.
So remember, whenever you are trying to solve a tough problem, sit down with pen and paper and sketch the parts involved, trying to understand what is going on before you choose the right solution.
Original Post: The Key to Solving Any Problem
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