Hand holding a golden egg

what we think when we think about thinking

The subject of thinking continues to fascinate me.

Recently, a group of us from diverse backgrounds and countries came together to discuss. Together in a panel conversation with an engineer, doctor to be, software developer, physicist, and yours truly, we talked about what we think about when we think about thinking.

Specifically, around problem solving.

Framed through our different careers and life experiences, below is a summary of key insights:

Your rational brain can only work as effectively as your emotions allow you to.

Problem solving must start with a mentally clear headspace. Learning how to manage emotions is a must for effective problem solving.

The first step to problem solving is defining the problem.

We must always consider that the problem may be different than what you think.

Not all problems are created equal.

Some need to be solved under extreme time pressure, for example solving trading problems in finance. The same could not be said of problem solving for a rocket launch.

How you approach the problem depends strongly on the context of the problem itself.

Think of problems as a feature, not a bug.

When you are solving a long term problem, you want to go deep. You want the problems to appear.

Reframe the relationship with problems and make friends with our problems.

In other words: “think of problems like golden eggs.” They are a gift that can help you solve for a better world.

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