A Little Philosophy: Seek short descriptions
Whenever something mechanical fails, you use a tool to fix it. If you need some instruction, usually a brief description, supported by a few illustrations does the trick.
If, however, you have a vexing personal problem, the advice you seek might run into hundreds of pages; maybe even multiple books!
When faced with that much potential reading, it is no wonder so many people remained upset or confused.
A solution to a problem, whether it requires a physical tool or simply advice on what to do next, is best if it is brief.
To find the best advice, never study something you already know. That said, if you feel bad, don’t read a detailed study on how you and many others feel bad. Why? Because you already know. Instead, skip those parts and go right to the suggested solutions.
No matter what type of problem you need to solve, if you use specific Internet search phrases, you can skip the descriptive clutter and go right to the condensed information you need.
For efficiency’s sake, consider making the first word of an Internet search phrase “summarize.” Example: “summarize how to find a new job.”
Even better, start your search with a number, followed by the word “tips” or “ways.” Example: “10 tips on how to mend a broken relationship” or “10 ways to repair a cracked mirror.”
If you really need to study a subject, start with school study guides, like Cliff’s Notes. You can even start a search with the phrase “study guide for…” then name the subject.
Even school course outlines are worth looking up. In the fewest words possible, they’ll help you organize your thinking.
Brief tips provide a lot of insight! Use the time saved from studying summaries to considering suggested tips and solving your issues.
- Cliff’s Notes, cliffsnotes.com
- Search on study guides and college study guides
- If you haven’t considered seeking advice from a leading university, check out Harvard’s Syllabus Explorer. Once you get the feel for how a syllabus can help you organize your problem solving approach, check out course outlines from any school system, from high to graduate school.
Article by Karen Little, first published for Littleviews.com on August 8, 2019. You can publish this article in a non-commercial site with permission from Karen.
Questions? Ask Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do you have an article you’d like to see in this series? Karen would love to hear from you.