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Solving Puzzles

Work the problem and get to a solution that satisfies your needs

Published by Vincent Pickering

Inspiration is a muscle like any other, you must learn how to flex it.

Inspiration can seem magical and intangible. It isn’t.

Inspiration is arriving at a solution to a problem or taking an educated guess that later is validated as being incredibly accurate in your solution. In turn others deem the solution “Inspired” instead of “solved”.

There are 3 types of problem.

1. Jigsaw

The problem has all the pieces of the solution available and you need to work out how they fit together.

2. Obscured

The problem does not possess all the pieces. Some pieces are present, some are not. Requiring additional effort to understand what is missing and how they fit together.

3. Elusive

The problem does not present any pieces to its solution. Requiring understanding in the shape and size of the solution along with the number of puzzle pieces and their method of fitting together.

Given this knowledge we can comprehend the possible ways solving the problem may be obstructed:

  • Our view in some way may be obscured from seeing all the pieces in their entirety and the solution as a whole.
  • The number of pieces available are unknown.
  • The size of the pieces are not known.
  • The size and reach of the problem is unclear.
  • The context of the problem is not correctly framed.
  • There is no data on what solutions are available.

It is unlikely you would win at a game you do not understand the rules for, but it is possible by accident or instinct to win. This could be referred to as “inspired” but often is called a “fluke” or “beginners luck”.

Perspective obscures the truth here.

Inspiration in it’s truest form is piecing together pieces of a puzzle others did not realise existed or could not see the path to a solution. It comes by working the problem in its entirety and exercising that knowledge to it’s fullest.

If an individual is labelled inspiring, they are providing solutions to a problem:

  • In ways other individuals have not yet considered.
  • That other individuals had not realise existed.
  • Discovering puzzle pieces that others did not see.
  • Solving one problem that provides missing pieces to another problem.

A puzzle contains:

  1. Context.
  2. An objective.
  3. Information that is missing or inaccurate.

Learn to break down a puzzle at the beginning in to what you do have and what you do not. By virtue of what is required to achieve your “success criteria” you can understand the shape and size of the problem to the best of your abilities. Build out from that starting point.

Remember every failed solution is not a waste of time, the process of elimination provides vital clues on the path to the solution you require.