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  • Eva El Haddad

Break New Grounds – Part II

“If I had an hour to solve a problem, I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.” Albert Einstein


In my latest blog, I have shared how each and every one of us has inherently different basic needs, and I can never stress enough how important it is for us to identify what need we are trying to meet before even attempting to find the solution. Take it from Einstein, not me.

Clearly defining our problem is vital, but once defined, how do we go about solving it?

It is not a coincidence that, in his infamous quote, Einstein used the word 'solutions' rather than 'solution'. Indeed, most problems can be solved in a multitude of ways, therefore, the first step is to Explore all our Options. The key is to find the right solution to the right problem. But what is the right solution? The Right Solution is the one that solves The Problem in the simplest, most affordable, and most efficient way while all the while avoiding the creation of any unnecessary secondary problems.

Once found, the next step is to Action It. There will be many bumps along the way, numerous barriers that will prevent us from smoothly implementing our solution. It is said that, when Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he made over 1,000 unsuccessful attempts. When Edison finally succeeded, he was asked: "How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?", to which he replied: "I did not fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps”. He also said: “Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”.

Which brings me to what I believe is the secret sauce to never giving up: Intrinsic Motivation. When we have a deep reason to pursue a solution, a reason that touches upon our most personal basic needs such as health, love and belonging, how likely are we to give up?

Being strong when faced with challenges is vital and together, we are always stronger. The key then is to Find Allies, Allies who are as intrinsically motivated as we are in meeting the need.

Finally, the right solution should remain relevant over time. Hence, it is important that we constantly Look Back and test our solution in current conditions. It is even more important to pre-empt and forecast any changes in conditions and test our solution in different scenarios to ensure it remains right, appropriate, and robust.

Before you go, here is another secret sauce for success: Being ready to Adapt. Life is a series of unpredictable events: giving up or complaining about it will not lead us anywhere. So, I leave you with my favourite quote from Charles Darwin: It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”.

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