“Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.” — Karl Popper, Objective Knowledge
“The word “solution” can be as neutral as the words “question” or “problem,” but once one has defined a people or a nation as such, the search for a resolution can become a yearning for the conclusive. Endlösung: the final solution.” — Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22
“It is not enough just to identify a problem; there are plenty of people who were very skilled at pointing out what was wrong with the world, but they were not always so adept at working out how these things could be righted.” — Alexander McCall Smith
“It is not enough just to identify a problem; there are plenty of people who were very skilled at pointing out what was wrong with the world, but they were not always so adept at working out how these things could be righted.” — Alexander McCall Smith, Tea Time for the Traditionally Built
“We have a given problem to solve. If we undertake the solution, there is, of course, always danger that we may not solve it aright; but to refuse to undertake the solution simply renders it certain that we cannot possibly solve it aright.” — Theodore Roosevelt, “The Strenuous Life“, Speech before the Hamilton Club (1899-04-10)
The best way to find creative solutions to your problems is to get advice from someone that is distant from you. This is advice I am going to find hard to follow.
A set of studies by Evan Polman and Kyle J. Emich shows that people are more creative when working on a problem for someone else and the bigger the psychological distance, the better they are at solving the problem. In other words, the less they care about you and your problems, the more likely they are to come up with a good solution.
This makes getting advice from strangers on the internet a good choice. Who would’ve thought? Looking for a new take on things? Post a question in forum.
Obviously this doesn’t mean blindly following all the advice.
I am used to talking out some of my problems with my friends. I am not so sure I can always do this. My biggest problems are personal and it is difficult to talk about them, period.
- Art Markman, Ph.D.: A Simple Trick to Boost Your Creativity (huffingtonpost.com)
- Dumb Little Writing Tricks That Work: Adopt a different writing persona (gointothestory.com)
- 3 tricks for solving problems faster and better (danpink.com)