Daily Apotheosis
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Daily Apotheosis

How to Solve a Problem

The biggest mistake most people make, myself included, when trying to solve a problem is they jump into the ‘additive’ mode — that is, they intuitively grasp onto their instinct about what ‘new’ thing they can add to the system or situation at hand which they think would ‘fix’ it or make it better, and then they fixate on obtaining that thing. This desire is at the root of many of our misguided (and, ultimately, problem-worsening) attempts to make our lives easier.

Instead, I’m realizing as I get older but not wiser that the best way to solve problems is exactly the same approach we take to a messy room.

  1. Organize
  2. Remove
  3. Clean

Then, and only then,

4. Consider adding

It’s so simple. First, you have to organize what’s in the room, grouping things together, deciding what you want to keep, etc. Then, you get rid of what you don’t need anymore. And then, you clean the room. Then, and only then, do you consider adding any new elements.

Finis!

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