Tag: Problem Solving

The key to learning

He who is ashamed of asking is ashamed of learning.  – Danish Proverb

It was Rudyard Kipling who wrote the Poem that began as follows

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

Almost all of us have extensively used these six honest serving men throughout our school life and possible till we graduated. However thereafter most of us felt a little ashamed of using the questioning technique and preferred to remain in ignorant bliss rather than admit we lacked the knowledge. It is also possible that we continued to believe in some possibly mistaken notions. The reality of life is that there is far too much knowledge for any individual to grasp and absorb and so the only way forward is to humbly seek out the facts when we lack the knowledge; yet we have our psychological block of admitting our ignorance.

The technique of questioning had 3 distinct advantages.

It keeps us grounded to the reality that we have a lot to learn.

When we are willing to question, we are acknowledging our own limitations and weakness and readily accept the wiser counsel of others. It opens our eyes to the fact that it is not our intelligence alone that helps us to grow in life but our ability to harness the knowledge that is around us provided we first accept our personal limitations.

It facilitates us learning.

Questioning also helps us to search for answers and makes us aware of the need to seek out more intelligent people, find out more authentic information and search for new avenues of updating ourselves. When we ask questions we also are looking for answers. We use the questioning technique very effectively when we are faced with a problem and require some answers to progress ahead.

It enables one to connect dots and be creative.

Questioning is the best method to solve problems. By constantly seeking to find answers we would stimulate out thinking, dream up apparently illogical possibilities and succeed in finding unique solutions to our problems. Riddles that we asked in school may now look ridiculous and childish but provided the vital stimulant required to develop the spirit of questioning and sharpening our creativity. Eg  Two mothers and two daughters went for a picnic but they were only 3 of them. How is this possible? Or Name 3 consecutive days that does not include Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday in it.

In fact the questioning technique was the bass of most human progress. One of the key players in the development and enrichment of human thinking and philosophy is the Greek Philosopher Socrates whose Socratic Method of inquiry revolved around asking questions. Notice that the educational system irrespective of the discipline of study uses the questioning technique to evaluate the knowledge and aptitude of the students. Similarly the journalistic profession extensively uses the questioning technique to get quote and sound bytes to feature as news.  Researchers and scientists too use this technique to come up with new inventions, discoveries and improvements. Finally it is important to note that the questioning technique is what makes the human race very distinct from the other living creatures. Our evolution and progress can be solely attributed to our ability to use the six honest serving men effectively.

Remember: “Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”  Benjamin Franklin

Try this:

  1. Play the game 20 questions in which the leader thinks of a well known personality and will respond only with a YES/ NO/ Pass (if they do not know the answer) to your questions. You have to ask questions and based on the response of the leader guess the personality in 20 questions.
  2. Ask yourself if you suffer from the following indicators of being question shy.
  • You are lost in a new city and struggling with the map but feel awkward to ask the local person to help out
  • You watch Formula racing and / Golf on TV but have yet to find out the rules of the games.
  • You recently shifted to a new home. You are finding it hard to make inquiries with the neighbors to know more about the locality and the important landmarks.
  • Your child’s progress report indicates that he/ she is lagging behind. Yet you do not make efforts to meet the teachers and learn more about the reason for the child’s poor performance.
  • You are invited by your host to a fancy restaurant serving French cuisine. The menu card lists all the dishes in French. You feel awkward to ask the steward to update you about the dishes.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Harnessing adversity

A problem is a chance for you to do your best. Duke Ellington

There is an apocryphal story told about a couple of frogs that fell into a bucket of milk. After initially trying to leap out, one of the frogs simply gave up saying it is no use and then drowned. The other frog kept paddling and slowly there was a lump of cream that formed. He managed to churn out more cream till there was enough for him to stand on and leap out to freedom. The story neatly sums up the quote for today.

Problems come in all types; big, small, difficult easy, short term, long term, imaginary, real etc. No one is spared problems either which may be a consolation to some. The trouble is when problems come we need to handle it and we can react in a multitude of ways from out rightly rejecting the problem, to ignoring it hoping it will get solved on its own, to trying a quick fix that may look like a solution but just prolongs the agony or tackling it thoughtfully and completely. Scientists, researchers, inventors and creative people see problems positively and look at it as their bread and butter. We need to learn a trick or two from them in order to ingrain the right spirit and attitude when confronted with a problem.

A problem is an opportunity to use our intelligence, creativity and our managerial talent to the fullest in order to overcome the problem. All development in every sphere is the result of someone taking the initiative to solve a problem. Right from the time man invented the wheel to the present day  computing and commuting solutions problem solving has been the key to progress. Innovation, invention and improvisation are the three I’s that form the magic formula to problem solving.  We are constantly using the 3 i formula every single day. Unfortunately the law breakers are equally adept if not experts in using this formula. Look at the phishing scams, the lottery scams, the white collared crimes in the banking system etc. all of them have their roots in using the 3i formula alas for unlawful activities.

If you have a personal problem be it your inability to enjoy success, your concern about long term economic security or your urge to attain fame and fortune the recognition of the problem itself is half the battle one. Once the problem is identified you can focus attention on the solution just as a good doctor would try to look beyond the apparent symptoms in order to diagnose the illness correctly. If things are quite and smooth sailing there is every possibility that there is an undiagnosed problem around the corner for it is the law of life that problems must flow or else how will you get the wonderful opportunities to use your intelligence and grow?

Remember: “Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.”

Try these:

  1. Here are a few words which you need to expand so that the Acronyms and the expansion have some co-relation. E.g. SMILE = See My Instant Life Energizer or ACT = Action Conquers Terror .                                      The words for you to expand are GREET, RUSH, PAIN, STYLE, CLAP (please use your own imagination rather than going to the net and doing a search. The objective of the exercise is not just to get the answers as much as it is to for you to discover your hidden strengths and using it to solve problems)
  2. Almost all of us have the constant complaint that we need to increase our income. Starting now for the whole week spend half an hour each day just jotting down various ways to increase your income. The following week work on how to increase your savings without too much of compromise on your current life style.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com