The VirtualSalt problem solving checklist:
- Take time to examine and explore the problem thoroughly before setting out in search of a solution. Often, to understand the problem is to solve it.
- Breaking the problem into smaller parts will often make solving it much easier. Solve each part separately.
- The resources for problem solving are immense and ubiquitous.
- You can always do something.
- A problem is not a punishment; it is an opportunity to increase the happiness of the world, an opportunity to show how powerful you really are.
- The formulation of a problem determines the range of choices: the questions you ask determine the answers you receive.
- Be careful not to look for a solution until you understand the problem, and be careful not to select a solution until you have a whole range of choices.
- The initial statement of a problem often reflects a preconceived solution.
- A wide range of choices (ideas, possible solutions) allows you to choose the best from among many. A choice of one is not a choice.
- People work to implement their own ideas and solutions much more energetically than they work to implement others' ideas and solutions.
- Remember the critical importance of acceptance in solving problems. A solution that is technologically brilliant but sociologically stupid is not a good solution.
- When the goal state is clear but the present state is ambiguous, try working backwards.
- Procrastinators finish last.
- Denying a problem perpetuates it.
- Solve the problem that really exists, not just the symptoms of a problem, not the problem you already have a solution for, not the problem you wish existed, and not the problem someone else thinks exists.
- A maker follows a plan; a creator produces a plan.
- Creativity is the construction of somethings new out of somethings old, through effort and imagination.
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