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The 8 Ingredients for Einstein's Problem Solving Recipe

 Have you ever had a problem that you didn’t quite know how to get to the bottom of? I know I have – we’ve all been there. Facing problems that make it seem like there’s no positive end in sight is a fact of life for all of us. How we come out the other side is all down to perspective, and no other than the greatest physicist ever to live, Albert Einstein, was a firm believer in this philosophy. In fact, he once said:


“If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about the solution.”

He believed that by looking at a problem from all possible perspectives, the solution to it became apparent all by itself. Here are the 8 ingredients for Albert Einstein’s problem-solving recipe, which you can apply to a problem you may be facing in your life:

1. Define the Problem in a Different Way
Choosing the right words in relation to a problem is essential for arriving at a solution. In other words, if you take the time to define a problem properly, you also make it easier to solve.

You can do this in three easy steps, namely exploring the current situation in which the problem can be found, explaining what the results of that exploration are in a single, clearly defined statement (“the problem I’m trying to solve is: ____________”), then asking yourself why what you’re trying to solve is a problem in the first place. Each time you answer that question, ask “why” once again until you get to the very core.  

2. View the Problem from a Higher Perspective
Most problems you face are usually small parts of something bigger, so you need to have the ability to be able to approach them from different sides (and heights). This means that whenever you feel that many little obstacles are getting in the way of you arriving at a solution, ensure that you never lose sight of the bigger problem you’re attempting to solve.


3. Study and Solve the Problem Little By Little
If a problem seems insurmountable, try your best to divide it into a series of smaller problems (or tasks), which are easier to solve. By compartmentalizing each part of the bigger problem, you will gain a much clearer insight into the realty of the situation that you’re facing.


4. Use Motivating Language
Imagine you’re trying to quit smoking. Your habit is a problem, so you tell yourself “I’m going to quit smoking”. Think about how much easier it would be for you to arrive at the solution to the problem if you said things like “I’m going to prolong my life”, or “I’m going to boost my energy levels”.


5. Formulate Problems as Questions
You can try formulating a problem you’re facing as a question – you may come up with a solution to it without even trying. This is because the human brain loves riddles, and will keep searching for an answer to it all by itself.

6. Make Problems Fascinating To Solve
If you make a problem appear enticing and rewarding to yourself, then that makes the process of trying to find a solution that much more enjoyable. For instance, instead of saying “I’m going to create a blog to make more money”, you can say “I’m going to inspire my readers to make positive changes in their lives by means of my writing”.

7. Turn the Problem on Its Head
Another trick for solving a problem is to imagine the worst-possible outcome as a result of failing to find a solution. In order to win, you have to visualize what defeat looks like, and how it’s likely to happen. Once you have a clear picture in your head, all you have to do is ensure that you don’t make those mistakes in real life.

8. Collect as Many Useful Facts as Possible
You will be much better-equipped to find a solution to a problem if you inform yourself and learn about the facts that led to it coming into being in the first place. Going on a fact-finding mission in relation to the problem might see you arriving at a solution to it much quicker than you believed possible.

Content Source: Brightside.me

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