On Problems

‘I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.’
— Poul William Anderson

‘Each problem that I solved became a rule, which served afterwards to solve other problems.’
— René Descartes

‘A problem well-stated is a problem half-solved.’
— John Dewey

‘One should never impose one’s views on a problem; one should rather study it, and in time a solution will reveal itself.’
— Albert Einstein

‘The mere formulation of a problem is far more often essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.’
— Albert Einstein

‘Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.’
— Albert Einstein

‘Difficulties are things that show what men are.’
— Epictetus

‘If we want to solve a problem that we have never solved before, we must leave the door to the unknown ajar.’
— Richard P. Feynman

‘It’s much easier to point out the problem than it is to say just how it should be solved.’
— John Kenneth Galbraith

‘We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.’
— John W. Gardner

‘If the individual is narrowly concentrated on the goal, to the exclusion of other relevant aspects of the problem situation, he is often unable to achieve a solution. The creative thinker must stand sufficiently detached from his work.’
— Mary Henle

‘Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.’
— Henry J. Kaiser

‘Since our problems have been our own creation, they also can be overcome.’
— George Harrison

‘Never state a problem to yourself in the same terms as it was brought to you.’
— Tom Hirshfield

‘The second assault on the same problem should come from a totally different direction.’
— Tom Hirshfield

‘If you don’t understand a problem, then explain it to an audience and listen to yourself.’
— Tom Hirshfield

‘Studying the inverse problem always helps.’
— Tom Hirshfield

‘We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.’
— Lee Iacocca

‘For every problem, there is one solution which is simple, neat and wrong.’
— H. L. Mencken

‘Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.’
— Norman Vincent Peale

‘In all the creative work that I have done, what has come first is a problem, a puzzle involving discomfort.’
— Bertrand Russell

‘Knowing what you want is the first step toward getting it.’
— Mae West