Use the right tool for the problem


You sometimes find that a certain strategy or tactic or solution works effectively on multiple cases, but there are some cases where it doesn't work well.

This may be caused by incorrectly equating different cases as similar. Read the situation more carefully.


  • You have a strategy, tactic, or a solution that you often use (e.g. your intellect) that works extremely well for many cases, but fails for some situations (e.g. relationships, love-life).

  • Your standard personality / way of speaking with people works well with your known set of friends but doesn't usually work for complete strangers.

  • You only have one way of doing things- and you don't step back to reflect on what are other possible ways.

  • Historical bias - You look at a situation and scenario and immediately jump to the idea that "this might be the same thing as the thing that I experienced before", when it could possibly be a completely different situation.


  • Practice logical comparisons - Instead of asking "Are the tools (or situations) really similar?" ask yourself: What are the areas wherein there are similarities and differences? How similar or different are these situations?

  • Read more - Learn about more situations and tools by exposing yourself to the world. Talk to people, read books, and listen to people's stories and put yourself in their shoes. This gives you perspectives on other situations you may not have personally experienced, but by empathizing, you enable yourself to introspect what you would have done (or would have changed about what others did).

  • Expect differences and avoid biases - There are a lot of different things in the world which are not completely equivalent or the same. Learning comes from understanding the small details and being able to articulate the differences.

Effective use

  • Caution - Instead of jumping straight to assuming that situations are the same, you instead proceed with caution and ask first. Instead of jumping straight for your favorite tool (mindset, solution, technology), you enter the space with a blank slate - ready to comprehend the whole picture.

  • Attuned to the unknown - You are clear about what you know and don't know. This helps you ask questions to truly understand the scenario- which helps you identify what tool is best used.

  • Efficient and effective - By using the right tool for the right situation, you feel the natural benefit working to your advantage. It feels naturally advantageous (e.g. using a screwdriver for a screw, a hammer for a nail, a life vest on a boat, a chalk for a chalkboard).


  • Painfully inefficient - Using the wrong solution may feel comfortable because it is familiar, but it feels slow, and ineffective (e.g. using a hammer for a screw).

  • Limited learning - When you pigeon hole all problems to be alike, you limit your opportunity to acknowledge things that you don't know and understand. This causes a blindness - thinking that you understand it already when you don't. This prevents you from asking questions, because you think you know already, which then stumps your growth.

  • Breaking your tools - You can accidentally break your tools, your materials when you try to use the wrong solution. When working and relating with people, if you only have one strategy for conflict resolution, if that doesn't work out, it is possible that the relationship breaks.


  • To follow.

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