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Creative quotes and quotations
On Problems...


The problem with most problem-solving is that the problem itself is seldom clearly defined and understood. Give me an unclear problem and I’ll give you an unclear solution. What else could I do? The answer is to start with the problem as being problem number one.

See also

beginning, goals*, knowledge, learning, preparation*, questions*, rationality, science, thinking


‘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.’


‘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



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