Friday, April 4, 2008

Cut the Knot !

Sometimes it's hard to take decisions.
However, problems in life can be looked upon as knots.

Just like real problems in life

Now what can we learn from knots to solve problems in real life?

Stage 1 Analyze
First of all, before undoing (= solving) a knot (= problem), try to analyze it before just starting to pull (= attack) on the knot.
Pulling without analyzing might work, but often makes things worse. So always analyze first.

Stage 2 Work out action plan
Make an action plan and work this out.
Often you can undo knots in more than one way.
In general there are five different forms of (sequential) action plans

Action Plan 1 : Analytical Approach
Think on how the rope got into a knot anyway.
Undo the knot in small steps (don't force) by slightly loosen up the knot (rope) and 'working backwards".
Decide on which end of the rope to start. Sub-analyze after each step and go on

Action Plan 2 : Trial and Error
Without a direct plan, by trial and error, but still with firmness, strength, gentleness and infinite perseverance, loosen up the knot and try to to shake the knot repeatedly.

Action Plan 3 : Make things worse
When analytic approach and trail and error fail, and nothing helps, just take the risk of making things worse. Pull both ends of the rope at the same time in order to find out if the knot undoes itself!
Just like with knots in ropes, our problems often disappear by (the risk of) making them larger.
Even knots that you can undo in this way, may seem stuck at first. Simply loosen up the knot a bit. This diminishes the resistance of the rope. After that just pull.

Action Plan 4: Wait
Do nothing and wait a limited amount of time to see if the circumstances change or you might get other ideas or help.
Often when there's no tension on the knot, it loosens up itself so you can undo it.

Action Plan 5: Cut the knot
When every action plan until now has failed use the method Alexander the Great used by slicing the Gordian Knot with his sword.
So in these cases simply Cut the Knot.
This means that when patience and perseverance have failed, end the problem in a rigorous way.

When all the above methods have failed and you still got this problem, the only way to fight it is to recognize the problem is within yourself.

The famous philosopher Wittgenstein suggested that some problems are in fact knots in our head, often created by asking ourselves the wrong sorts of questions.

Now in the end it all comes down to you. You must decide to

Cut the knot or not

Wetter it is the knot outside or in your head (or both), don't let it drive you nuts.

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