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A Dictionary of New Epigrams


Only he who is no longer alive has no problems.

Problems are what makes life worth living.

We have natural needs, and the struggle to satisfy them is what excites our deepest passions.

The real problem for us is to convert what we know should be done into actions we can do that will get it done.

Knowing what needs to be done to solve a problem requires combining a general overview with specific actions.

We make our own lives meaningful by choosing problems we believe we can solve and working on them.

Choosing to compete with people of equal skill automatically creates interesting problems. Thus football, chess and archery competitions become interesting even if they don’t produce anything of physical value, such as commercial products like cars, toothpaste or movies.

Existential problems don’t vanish because you ignore them, trivial ones do.

The best problems are those that challenge us but don’t defeat us.

There is great pleasure in the process of solving a significant problem.

You can forecast the directions a person will choose to go by the problems he chooses to confront.

Worrying doesn’t solve problems; it entrenches them and makes them tougher, and worry adds pain to one’s life.

Most problems are adequately solved with good enough. Good enough is defined as getting the job done to the point it won’t fail under stressful conditions.

Some problems don’t have absolute solutions, but they do have practical solutions. The accuracy of Pi at 3.1415926 is usually better than good enough, and the excess detail creates a waste of time, energy and memory.

We may choose to be cheerful when we approach a problem, and that will give us the mental flexibility to handle it wisely.

Problems are real gifts, because they are opportunities to think.

Choose problems that you will enjoy solving, and give the ones you can’t handle to those who can.

It is when a problem is really difficult that opportunities for breakthroughs occur.

Most problems are not blockages, but questions that have been improperly stated, and once stated properly the solutions are doable.

Sometimes adding a detail to a problem will make it simpler, and sometimes subtracting a detail will help; it sometimes helps to bounce a problem around.

If you make a problem into a joke it often resolves and dissolves into a mist.

If you are confronted with a problem too difficult to solve, take a break, go solve a similar but easier problem, and then return with new insight, energy and vitality.

Don’t blame anyone or anything for problems, but choose to see them as the opportunities that your reality has provided for you to solve.

The problems you presently have are easier for you to cope with than those endured by the people around you.