How to Solve Problems Effectively


Samuel Johnson


To solve problems requires a spirit of curiosity, inspiration, innovation, creativity, inference, induction, deduction and ability. It is these attitudes that a human being must take to reach a goal through certain data, that is, to get an answer to a question posed as a consequence of a discrepancy. It does not consist then, the solution of problems in a normal and daily thought, but in a thought that has been called divergent thinking. This divergence is found precisely, not in the use of two hands or two arms, but in the use of the mind in order to overcome the old self, achieving mental training as a nobility of body and soul. Mastering the mind, shaping the character, making the environment and forming the destiny constitute elements of the new era that lead to understanding in order to have the intellectual pleasure, the greater pleasure of overcoming problems, enunciating them, analyzing them, overcoming them and solving them. Everyone has problems, but very few have the interpretive divergence of the resolution of difficulties, conflicts, problems and disasters. Now, every problem is an unknown, but every problem has a solution that is acute, serious or difficult. Men and women without the capacity to be overseers, that is why “if you understand that some are able to put them as overseers,” says Sacred Scripture.

Ingredients of divergent thinking

Curiosity: It is the desire to know and find out something, investigate it, snoop it, be in doubtful, ignored or hidden and want to get skills and skills in what is executed. Some people confuse positive curiosity with negative, which is an attitude that leads us to inquire what should not matter to us. It is convenient not to confuse the person who has a spirit of curiosity, investigation, inquiry (scientist, technician, historian, philosopher) with the curious (practitioner, nurse, healer, shaman, guru). The first one treats one thing with particular care, diligence or dedication and the second exercises therapy or practices speculation. The resolution of problems requires the spirit of curiosity, investigation, inquiry and snooping to adequately deal with the enigma and solve it, however difficult it is to understand or interpret it. Where there is a spirit of curiosity there will be no insurmountable problems. In idealistic pragmatism it works very well, by going to the bottom in the search for universal laws, by examining the practical aspects of any scientific, moral or religious doctrine that contains those laws.

Inspiration: Consists in giving birth in the mind or spirit, ideas, designs, affections, through a stimulus that occurs spontaneously to find things without any effort. It does not require the use of any force, or physical strength to break difficulties and get what you want. Inspired people are usually called those who know how to make poetry, because their product appears spontaneously and in original form; but he says himself inspired or enlightened by those great men who have transformed humanity. Also artists and writers who make their compositions with suggestions of their own harvest and nature. In solving problems, inspired people find alternate paths and ways, by looking beyond normal limits and finding them without difficulty. Inspiration is similar to intuition. In inspiration, perception and vision are made in such a way that things are glimpsed with clairvoyance, with foreboding and almost with divination. It is like an additional sixth sense through which solutions that amaze us are manifested. The admiration for inspiration is so great that we love to hear about inspired, illuminated and great stories and stories have been made with the theme. Much has to do with enlightenment and Eduardo Shure made in his book “The Great Initiates” the narration about Rama, Krishna, Hermes, Moses, Orpheus, Pythagoras, Plato, Jesus, Zoroaster, Buddha and the Essenes, the explanation of both concepts and how they exercised, these people who transformed humanity, changing the rules of mental interpretation and advancing culture for the good of the world population.

Innovation: To innovate is to be in constant work, to find how to do more and more things or to make them better. It has to do with bringing new ideas, launching new products on the one hand; and on the other, always doing things in a better way; in a more efficient, effective and impactful way. It consists of the problem of always being questioned in relation to the activities where one is developing, to make them better and on the other hand within the scope of the business where one is, looking for new concepts, developing new ideas, to remain as a point of reference in the market. (Manuel Sucre: Human Resources Magazine No. 11). The human being wants to see differences between one market and another; increase the transparency of information; to be able to see the potential of possible combinations to see what is not and that the observer can fill. The best ideas innovate and emerge above the existing as a cascade of changes. In many places the month of innovation is decreed, but no new and valid ideas arise with these decrees, because it is the innovative people who produce them and bring them to the discussion table. Now the speed of innovative changes is exponential and in a globalized world the competition is also. The future of today is and always will be the same, the only thing faster and closer. In all the crises that Latin America has gone through, in terms of its companies, those that survived were those that used innovation. This means, neither more nor less, that companies that do not know how to respond innovatively to their clients, will simply disappear. Innovation can be retained in a leader who can create spaces in anyone’s risk, but it can also consist of a ladder, so that the space flows and others go up, generating innovation. Of course, this constitutes risks and the risks can mean loss of money or at least some expense; but it is convenient to spend on innovation, because it is the subsistence itself. With this expense it must be taken into account that the main objective is the market. Minimizing risk is a matter for each company, but if innovation does not work immediately, innovators can not be punished, because everything in life is continuous learning; we must take innovation as a way of life, both individual and organizational and the decision to be innovative, we must make it present through a strategy of implementation as a process of execution and not as a simple program of action.

Creativity: This is present when the mind is aware of the relationship between two ideas, thus generating a third (Spearman, cited in Sternberg, 1993). Creativity is in the ability and attitude to generate ideas and communicate them (Torre cited in Mitjans, 1995, both cited by Recio). Through creativity you can solve problems because who solves them, look where other people do not see. It has been conceived as a characteristic of personality; as a process; as a product and as an environment. In the first case (personality), the creative person always goes beyond what has been learned, beyond the stored information and beyond the logic of the facts, even though they have served as the beginning. Transforming, asking questions about solutions and not looking for a single solution but several alternatives, is typical of creativity. In Latin America we say “when you go, I come”, but if it comes with the solution there is creativity. The creative person is open and of good imagination, plays with ideas and knows how to communicate them, adapts to any circumstance and above all is original. From the point of view of creativity as a process, reality is known, it is decomposed and reconstructed in new terms. According to Wallas (cited in Solso 1998, both cited in Recio) creativity involves the provision of information or preparation, processing or incubation, output of information or lighting and evaluation of the process. Creativity as a product is a factor highly valued in the industrial and commercial aspects (companies) because through this assessment can be determined essential qualities of production, which are a) that production incorporates something new and b) that production is Useful. It also allows knowing the elegance of the product, its simplicity and ease of use. In creativity as an environment, the atmosphere in which it is created must be considered, especially if there is discipline, responsibility and freedom; If you work as a football team, or in any other sports team, where each player puts his part with complete freedom and conviction. The creative person must seek and pursue high-flying ideas, such as eagles and not highlight low ideas, such as snakes and consequently outdated. Then recognize the ideas with potential values ​​so that they are widely accepted and sell those ideas to other people. Acting with freedom, trust and having a place for creativity means being in the playground and freely and analytically offering the analytical results, because there is no restriction, you have confidence in yourself and in others and you are always in the right place to transfer ideas as creative products.

Inference: It is a mental process that consists of obtaining knowledge already known, other implicit knowledge in these. It is a relationship or nexus between two situations or two events. It is thought that inference is basic to learn induction, deduction and analogy, for the understanding of language and communication and to realize abstract thinking. Inference is the most useful element in solving problems and usually has a relationship between pairs of words, that is, given a couple of conclusions are drawn from each other. Sternberg established categories of word pairs: part-whole, predicatives, coordination, equality, similarity, contrast, all-part, negation, word relationship, subordination, termination, and superordination. Constant practice helps learning inference, but it must also be continuous because it is an abstract activity. When we say love – singing, words are connected simply because they rhyme; sleep – slept, the connection is grammatical; yes – no logical or mathematical negations; six eighths – seventy-five percent, equality by mathematical or logical equivalence; block – plot, all – part, relation in which B is part of A; minute – hour, part – everything, relation in which A is part B; Santa María Virgen, ending each term is part of an expression, the three words are part of a single unit; fish – shark, superordination, relation where A is a category that includes B; carrot – beet, coordination, the two terms refer to the same subject and are of the same category; when the relation is of a verb the category is called predicative: the term A describes something about the term B, cook – pots, ice – cold, cow – moo, where cook uses pots, ice is source of cold, cow produces mooing; the contrast is between antonyms or words that are opposite in meaning, green – mature, high – low, fat – skinny; and similarity between synonyms or between words that mean the same thing, furious – rabid, fearful – tenebrous, lucid – clear. 

Deduction: Method by which logically proceeds from the universal to the particular, that is to say, consequences are derived from a principle, proposition or assumption by derivation or inference. The particular truths are obtained from the general hypotheses and this method is conformed in strict sense by the syllogism, which is, in its capital forms, a conclusion from the universal to the particular and in all its forms, a conclusion from of the universal. The reasoning of the deductive receives its validity from the logical principles of identity, contradiction, excluded third, and constitutes an axiom whose truth is undoubted and immediate. And it is not necessary to bring anything about the real structure of objects since not only logical principles and logical relations intervene, that is why it is a complex discursive process. When two judgments are given another is required depending on the first two, are the major, minor and conclusion. Every man is mortal. Socrates is a man. Socrates is mortal (major, minor and conclusion premise). The syllogism can be presented in different ways according to the quantity and quality of the premises; there are irregular syllogisms, compounds, complexes, paralogisms or sophisms. The latter consists of an invalid incorrect reasoning and is given the name of fallacy, many times in these cases it is answered something that is not in discussion or something is proved that does not correspond to prove. The study of the syllogism, the principles that govern the forms and ways of it and in general the study of the deductive method is a matter of modern logic to understand the signs, language and metalanguage; and reach the concept of deductive logic as well as reasoning, symbolization, laws and logical truths. The beginning of deductive reasoning can not be an immediate judgment of experience, since in case of having it, it would be an affirmation about facts that supposes a previous induction and the deduction is extracted from universal judgments.

Capacity: Genesis 47.6. In this biblical passage one of the great interpretations of the capacity is established, it relates the understanding and the understanding to establish it. “If you understand” because if you do not understand what is being said to you. This passage is related to that of Proverbs 22, 28, which is from the following tenor: “Have you beheld a skillful man in his work? In front of Reyes is where he will bet; he will not bet on common men. ” The ability at work has always been considered an excellence. “A Message to Garcia” contains this message of the work capacity of employees and workers and has much to do with the star workers who are the ones who do the work, even though 90% of the rest do not do something or do it very badly. In Latin America it is said that there are no insoluble problems but incapable men and women; The skill and ability to develop tasks, carve wood, make mosaic, build, make roads, buildings, schools, water works (drinking and irrigation) and the hundreds of jobs that craft crafts, are closely related to training they exercise the people who want to learn. In Venezuela there is a national institute of educational training, which at least in theory is to teach arts and crafts (INCE). Jean Paul Sarte, referring to the peasants who cut the wheat, said of them “what cults are cutting the wheat”, that is to say, what perfection of office they perform in that agricultural work; “Understood in the matter” we also say to refer to someone who does things well. The able people have a privileged place in humanity, so much so that they are looked for with the lantern of Diogenes in order to put them as mayorals (foremen, leaders, leaders, caporales, directors, conductors, principals, bosses, managers, superiors, etc.). ). On many occasions the inability to do things does not only come from the lack of understanding, but from the lack of good performance of an art or industry business; If there is a lack of understanding, it is not possible to appoint a foreman, but when there is a lack of disposition and the person is named mayoral, it is possible that sabotage, accidents, accidents, damages and matters arising from negligence, recklessness or ignorance of the rules may occur. that lack of disposition that can be simulated or intentional.


The existence of a present situation that we do not like, makes us think of a desired state, going through the permanent learning of the immortal souls, that is, those who do new things and understand. Moving from an existing situation to a desired situation is typical of these interesting times, in order to be successful both personally and in organizations. However, problem solving is not a panacea that cures all diseases.

Fundamental rules of problem solving

Do not follow impulsive behaviors. Generally, when a problem arises, we immediately want to solve it, without thinking much about what it is, what data exist and what is missing and why is missing, what are the restrictions and we even ignore what is asked or requested as a response . When this happens we are faced with an impulsive behavior equal to that of the child who takes off a candy that wants to fight or immediately punish the person who has taken it away, without thinking about the action, but about the objectivity and resolution of problems requires subjectivity to internalize the possible solution or solutions if there are alternatives.

Do not think in only one direction. This limits achieving the goals of real, real solutions, because we go one way and each time we make mistakes we go back the same path that leads us to the same mistake. We got the same stones, the same thorns and we encountered the same obstacles. In other words, we repeat the steps we took previously and fall again. For this reason in recent times is being taught divergent thinking that is to use the mind in depth to reach the goals.

Plan strategies. If you work in a non-systematized way, that is, without a pre-established order, you try to solve the problem as quickly as possible, without reaching the goal because we are acting by trial and error, we try to see if we succeed, but we miss and return to rehearse to return to error. Planning is always good because of warned war does not die soldier, if he dies it is careless.

Do not place more restrictions on the problem. If this happens, it is very serious, because instead of the natural restrictions of the problem we multiply them by two (2) or by one fifty (1.50), which increases the unknowns, the enigmas and the questions, getting entangled in the skein structured by the problem itself, plus our own participation. For example, if we find three sides in the given situation, we place it in another side, it will be four and not three, so the solution moves away from us and goes away.

Define the nature of the problem. This is essential. If it is a personal or collective problem, what is its subject, what its dimensions are, what are its cardinal points, what data does it have, what is missing, what is the question, what is wanted with the response. If we notice that the problem has some difficulty and by not defining the nature of it, we reduce the possibility of a solution.

Resolve it from previous experience. We can not ignore the value of the past in comparison to analogous situations.

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