Problem Solving: Mindset
The definition of problem is:
"a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome."
This is not to say that problem solving can't be used to improve good situations. In fact you can use it in any situation where you can make a choice. Whether it's choosing between foods, methods for skill mastery or even sexual positions. Of course you can't solve sex but the majority of the real problems we face are like this too. Even great solutions can be improved and sometimes the measuring of that improvement is totally subjective.
Problems with subjective answers cant be solved with logic alone, knowledge of oneself is critical. Your values, interests, strengths etc. The better your understanding the better your solution. This is another kind of intelligence, a self knowledge and it's underrated and overshadowed like every other ability because of logic, math and being good at school.
Our society and our schools (to a lesser extent) places these skills on a pedestal and it has an awful effect on people. It's easy to feel dumb, insecure and thus hate learning if you're not inherently good at these in our culture. For example, when I told a friend that having social skills as his strength was "really good" he asked me if I was being sarcastic. His insecurity also prevents him from learning from others, asking questions and seeking help.
There are so many ways you can succeed without math/logic. Even in poker where math/logic is the dominant skill I seen people become strong players without being particularly good at it. They'd use social skills to make friends with better players, financial skills to hire coaches and programs, one combined both of these to negotiate 60/40 and 70/30 backing deals in his favor, organizational skills to create useful charts while playing, stress management skills to handle tilt.
Even being humble is an advantage, these people were more inclined to find and play tourneys with weaker players, smaller prize pools and to learn from others. I did the opposite from 2008 to 2011. My ego was huge and I played exclusively in the toughest tourneys with the biggest buy-ins even though it led to multiple 6 figure downswings. The biggest being 250k. To make matters worse I threw away my chance to learn from 2 of the best players in the world because of the same egotistical and immature mindset.
There are infinite abilities you can use to improve at anything, don't get down on yourself for lack of ability in two areas. This isn't to say you're all special and that anyone can be the best. There is genetic and environmental limits on your potential but answer these two questions: Does your genetic limit matter if you're not performing anywhere near it? How can you know where your limits are if you never came close to testing them?
Wanting to be the best is an immature goal anyways. It's like when I would fantasize about waking up with superpowers when I was a kid (about 22 years old). That's basically what it takes to be the best, special genetics and special environmental conditions. When I was younger that's all I wanted, to be the best _____ in the world. As I got older I realized that the highest honor and virtue is in the knowledge you pushed yourself to your limits and being satisfied with however far that got you.
This chapter is titled mindset because to problem solve effectively you need to understand that almost all situations can improved, who you are matters, that there are infinite abilities you can use, and to strive and be satisfied with improvement rather than perfection i.e being the best.
Edited by Colin Maneval
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