Last week I was invited to engage with a baffling problem. It left engineers and managers of the power plant baffled for the last four months.
Instead of writing the technical details of the problem, which might not be of much interest to non-technical people I would instead write about my approach to solving baffling problems along with the principles involved. This is because we often wrongly interpret problems as technical, non technical, financial, social, etc. Essentially all problems are problems of the human mind. Invariably they always originate and live in the human mind. However, problems, as a rule, are always solved or resolved through enlightened (understanding, wisdom) consciousness.
The process, which I intend to highlight below, may be used to successfully solve both personal and professional problems or quickly adapt when a baffling problem (or a black swan) strikes.
The seven steps of the integrated process are as follows:
1. Look at the event as perceived in the present and the events that went before it.
a) See all, sit still, breathe deep, care for the ill.
b) When drinking water think of its source.
2. Examine the responses of human beings to a problem. Spot the responses that emanated from stored memories (usually collective).
a) Buddha is a toilet stick.
b) The gateway is found only after a long search and the long search is a spiral going inward.
3. Check implementation of the responses for assumptions, acceptance of imperfections, ignorance of facts and avoidance of details.
a) See the whole universe in a glass of wine.
b) Can you see the cloud in the book?
4. Scan the various perspectives people have about a problem, i.e. how individuals feel about the problem. Identify the blind spots.
a) No question; no answer
b) Cut the grass; pull the roots.
c) Pine cones look at different directions but do they?
5. Listen intently to what they say and what they don’t say about the issue.
a) Noise of the unsayable, unspeakable and unsaid is music.
b) Go up the mountain to meet the sage, know that it is you, come down to mix with the lakes and rivers.
c) A ruler and a worthy person who don’t connect, a musician and a listener who don’t find each other, or two potential friends who never meet; all lose.
6. Gain deep insight about the problem.
a) Don’t catch the snake by its tail.
b) Birds are not afraid of directions.
c) Question, test and use every sense you have and believe that dawn would come.
d) Imaginary lines between stars guide us to new harbors.
7. Form understanding of the problem. Formulate viable solutions for minimal intervention. Exchange the understanding in the simplest possible terms as logically as possible to change collective consciousness. Leave it there.
a) No question; no answer.
b) Spirit is wrapped in reason and reason is wrapped in spirit.
c) One raindrop creates thousand ripples.
d) Don’t wish for spring; spring gives life to wish.
Chances are that baffling problems would no longer appear baffling and would soon be solved/resolved by people.