Be mindful of the part of a problem you approach. Is it the root of the issue or rather just a symptom? Treating the symptom – the effect – of an issue rarely takes care of the issue itself and actually makes you worse off because it gives you the false impression that the issue is no more. The problem will likely crop up again, and if not, may manifest itself as another symptom. However, if you tackle the root – the cause – of the problem, all symptoms will also disappear.
Now of course I’m stating the obvious with this simple principle. However, we often mix up cause and effect when approaching real world problems.While making this distinction is sometimes difficult, it should not be ignored. It may very well make the difference between legitimately creating a solution and wasting a good deal of time and resources on fruitless pursuits.
What are real life problems where we’re treating the symptoms instead of the root of the issue?