How You Can Solve Your Life’s Problems

Look at the problem not the solution

Tom Egelhoff


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Albert Einstein once said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”

This simple idea sums up the daily problems we all experience in our lives. We spend all our time putting out fires rather than preventing them.

We spend all our time thinking about how to solve the problem rather than thinking about the problem itself.

Solving The Problem

You must know the problem before you can work on the solution. Problems are rarely one single thing.

Your car is suddenly stalled on the side of the road — what’s the problem?

It could be any one of a thousand things. You might be out of gas, dead battery, or some hidden mechanical malfunction.

If I were a mechanic in a situation like this, I’d know the most common reasons for my car to stall based on my past experience.

I would start by eliminating what it’s not — then start concentrating on what it is.

Other than being out of gas or a dead battery the automobile novice would probably have little chance of ever solving this problem.

A call for a tow truck would be the best start.

The Problem-Solving Process

Looking at a problem from the solution side just slows the process down.

I like Einstein’s method and didn’t even realize that’s what I was doing solving problems.

I need to know all the components of the problem before even attempting to find a solution.

Solving part of the problem may just make the entire project worse.

We all know the old axiom, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

What If’s?

Once we see the complete problem than we can create some scenarios. What if we did this? What if we did that?

What if we did this — but not that?



Tom Egelhoff

Top Writer on Government, Entrepreneur, Radio Talk Show Host, Subscribe to my FREE Small Town Business Newsletter on Substack