How to Solve Big and Complex Problems
Most people don’t know even know where to start when a big problem pops up in life.
When you're facing a complex problem or trying to do something bold, start with a smaller version of the larger problem.
Focus exclusively on that small problem and solve it.
Use the answers to this small issue to expand your knowledge of the larger issue. Repeat.
Let's consider a few examples of how we might put this idea into practice to develop our own problem-solving skills:
BIG PROBLEM: How do I become more creative?
Small solution: If you want to become a good photographer, then start small. Learn how to take a really good picture of a chair
Once you can take a fantastic picture of a chair, use those principles — light, composition, lines, curves — to take better pictures of everything
BIG PROBLEM: How can I start exercising consistently?
Small solution: If you can't crack the fitness code and struggle to exercise consistently, then forget about every other exercise and just learn how to do one pushup. Stick with that one exercise for days, weeks, and months
Once you prove to yourself that you can solve this small problem, use the lessons you learn to become more consistent at exercise in general
BIG PROBLEM: How can I eat healthy each day?
Small solution: Want to improve your nutrition? Eat one vegetable today. Master that. Do it for four weeks. Or longer
Take what you learn about being consistent with that one thing and apply it to adding a second healthy food
Narrowing your focus is a mental model that you can apply whenever you want to start a new behavior or take on a new project that seems too big or overwhelming or complex to handle.
It is a filter you can run larger problems through to approach issues from a more useful place.
So, how do you solve big problems?
Start with a smaller one.