Redefining the apparent problem

When our minds are open, we are free look askance at problems as they appear at face value. We can consider ways to redefine the obvious problem. We can explore the possibility space where a particular problem does not exist at all or vanishes easily. We can wonder why the problem does not solve itself or disappear when another problem gets solved. We can see ways to change the diagnosis that gives us a very different problem to solve.

When our minds are closed, we are compelled to take the obvious problem at face value. Without realizing it, the problem that appears to have gotten out of hand is a reflection of the solution we have in hand. If we're loaded with money, we will see a problem resulting from a lack of financial resources that we can throw money at. If our expertise is abundant, we will see a problem with ineptitude, inexperience and lack of preparation that we can solve with prodigious educational efforts. If we're devoted to being focused, productive and dedicated to abstract commitments, we will see problems with others' attitudes, motivation and lack of responsibility that we can fix with applied penalties, punishments and disciplinary measures.

The solutions we bring to problems perceived by our closed minds usually backfire. They make the original problem worse while spawning several other problems. The solutions in use produce countless side effects and unwanted repercussions. We are, in effect, asking for more trouble when we try to solve problems with our closed minds. We are functioning as part of the problem rather than contributing to the solution. We're indulging in reductionistic fallacies and misdiagnoses. We're failing to consider enough complications and nuances to match the complexity of the actual problem.

When we're effectively redefining the apparent problem with our open minds, the problem looks more like a cyclical process. We see what's changing and what remains the same as things go round again. We consider how obvious problems are really solutions to hidden problems. We recognize hidden agendas and secondary gains attached to maintaining the problem. We realize the problem has taken on a life of its own that defies getting solved by conventional means. However, we will usually discover an apparently "unrelated problem" that we can solve easily. It happens to eliminate the persistent problem by introducing one of those disruptive, game-changer innovations.

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