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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them
Written by Dr Ali Parsa
18 January 2023 , 4 min read
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
Almost a century after Albert Einstein said this, it remains as true as his theory of relativity. The healthcare crisis in the U.S., as in much of the world, is structural and not incidental. It is the inevitable result of an outdated, reactive, episodic, clinic/hospital centric, “fee for service” system that is unscalable, and therefore increasingly inaccessible and unaffordable to many.
It reminds me of the time around a quarter of a century ago when my car would break down with little warning, costing me a not so little fortune to fix at a “repair shop”. Today, most cars are equipped with sensors that continuously collect data, computers that dynamically analyze the performance and alert when necessary to “pre-emptively service” to avoid a breakdown. This is what we do with much of our physical assets nowadays but not the most important one: our body.
Predictable and preventable illnesses are responsible for almost 70% of healthcare expenditure. The current system we call healthcare is misnamed; It was designed for “sick care” and should be renamed as such. For a true healthcare service, we need to create different economic incentives and operating models that are not just designed to deal with our crises and emergencies but to avoid them as much as possible. Much of what is required for this new economic and operating model for healthcare is already here, it is just not well distributed or fully developed.
“It’s the economy, stupid."
James Carville’s famous phrase applies to the healthcare sector as much as any other. Most institutions optimize for their financial incentives. Many say our healthcare system is broken. That is simply not true when you look at it from an economic incentive lens. How can a sector of the economy that has been showing the fastest and most consistent year-on-year “growth”, to now have captured just shy of 20% of the GDP, be called broken? In a “fee for service” system, where providers are paid for “activities”, any rational capitalist institution would optimize to maximize those activities. And that is what they have successfully done.
So, the starting point of any transformation from sick care to healthcare should be to fix the economic incentives. Instead of paying for activity, we should align incentives of payers, providers and beneficiaries by paying providers for managing their population’s health and benefiting by avoiding crisis and emergencies. This is what is happening across all other areas of “asset” insurance and maintenance with great results and should now be applied to healthcare. The good news is this is no longer a niche idea but is now accepted and advocated by many.
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”
Walt Disney’s advice is even more true in today’s world of accelerating innovations. Instead of the current reactive and crisis ridden sick care service, it is possible with today's technology to create a new data centric, proactive and integrated care service for population health management at scale. This no longer needs to be a dream and can be built.
The diagram below illustrates Babylon’s approach to delivering a digital-first health service in a manner that is scalable and affordable through an omni-channel mix of AI, digital, virtual and physical services as necessary. Central to this approach is continuous monitoring and collection of relevant data, algorithms for real time and intelligent analysis, protocols for appropriate rewarding and alerting and a scalable and proactive, digital first “health service” that can intervene early before small concerns become unwanted and unnecessary emergencies. Digitizing, automating and virtualizing as much of the physical care needs as possible is also necessary to improve accessibility and affordability of healthcare.
Much of the thinking and capabilities needed for the transformation of the sick care industry to a healthcare service are already here. We cannot afford to revert back to the old-ways that caused this mess to begin with. It is now possible to reshape a new model for healthcare. Those who do so and deliver it at scale will make quality healthcare accessible and affordable for every person on Earth.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of a doctor with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never delay seeking or disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read here.
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Guided meditations, mindful problem solving.
Albert Einstein said, “You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it.” So was one of the greatest minds in the world advising us to give up and eat a cookie when we encounter a roadblock?
No, though the thought can be tempting. To solve a problem, you first have to see it with clarity. At Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute , we know that deepening self-awareness is about developing clarity within oneself. There are two specific qualities we like to develop: resolution and vividness. When resolution is higher, we can see a lot more details in any issue. More brightness and contrast, allow us see the issue more vividly. The combination of resolution and vividness makes the more useful to us. With these tools we can perceive our emotions more clearly in two ways.
Firstly, we can increase the resolution (or precision) with which we perceive our emotions, so we can see emotions the moments they arise and cease, and subtle changes in between. Secondly, we increase their brightness and contrast so we can see them more vividly than before. This combination will give us very useful high-fidelity information about our emotional life.
Both resolution and vividness are the key to developing self-awareness, or clarity. But how can these tools help you in the business world? It turns out, they’re pretty essential.
This is because self-awareness engages the neocortex (the thinking brain) in the process of emotion. Self-awareness maps onto areas of the thinking brain that have to do with self-focused attention and language, so when we are engaged in strong self-awareness, those areas of the brain light up, and that can mean the difference between screaming at some guy or being able to stop and tell yourself, “I cannot scream at that guy; he’s the CEO!” If you’re self-aware enough, you’ll even have the confidence to yell at the CEO, when it’s appropriate ( NOTE : Please don’t yell at anyone unless it’s absolutely necessary, perhaps if a car is coming or something to that effect).
Our engagement of the neocortex in every experience of emotion is a necessary step in gaining control over our emotional life. Mingyur Rinpoche has a poetic metaphor for describing it, he says the moment you can see a raging river, it means you are already rising above it. Similarly, the moment you can see an emotion, you are no longer fully engulfed in it.
Now back to our friend Albert and his problem solving hypothesis. Einstein simply suggests approaching a problem from a new angle and not getting stuck in one mindset. What a SIYLI idea, huh?
So the next time you encounter a problem, take a moment to examine it with full resolution and vividness. Then, once you’ve found your solution, reward yourself with a cookie. Albert and SIYLI would want it that way.
Focus on finding clarity in your emotions. Take a moment to identify your feelings precisely (e.g. I’m annoyed that no one replied to my email). This moment will give you more control of your emotions and allow you to act productively.
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Explained: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
The challenge with this is that our limitations are what caused us to have the problem in the first place. Whether it's a lack of knowledge or creativity, the source of the problem is still within us.
Therefore, when we want to solve a problem we must think differently. We must look to the unknown and explore “outside the box” (or even throw the box away entirely) to discover the best solution.
Maybe the solution is right there in front of you, but you are too scared to try. In this situation, the limitation of your fear keeps you repeating the same old self-defeating thought patterns. It's in those moments that prayer , and a leap of faith, can help you overcome your struggles and find a new solution.
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“Problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them.”
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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
What's the meaning of this quote?
Quote Meaning: This quote emphasizes the need for innovation and new perspectives in problem-solving. This quote suggests that the solutions to our problems cannot be found by using the same approach that caused the problem in the first place. It encourages individuals to be open-minded, creative, and think outside of the box to come up with new solutions and ideas.
Quote Meaning in Detail: This quote suggests that to effectively solve our problems, we need to shift our perspectives or approach from the one that led to the problem in the first place. The underlying principle is that if our current mindset or way of thinking contributed to a problem, it's unlikely to provide an effective solution.
This might involve challenging our assumptions, questioning our beliefs, or seeking new information. Essentially, it requires us to grow and adapt, cultivating new ways of thinking that allow us to see our challenges in a new light and find innovative solutions.
This quote highlights the importance of flexibility and adaptability in problem-solving. It encourages us to recognize when our thinking might be hindering us and to be open to changing our mindset in order to overcome obstacles and resolve issues.
Who said the quote?
The quote "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." was said by Albert Einstein ( Bio / Quotes ) . Albert Einstein was a German physicist and Nobel Prize winner who is widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists in history.
Is there a historical example that illustrates the message of the quote?
To illustrate the message of this quote, let's look at a historical example from the field of medicine: the discovery of antibiotics and the revolution they brought in the treatment of infectious diseases.
Prior to the advent of antibiotics in the early 20th century, bacterial infections were a significant cause of illness and death. Traditional treatment methods included procedures like amputation or the use of antiseptics, which were often ineffective and had limited success rates.
In the 1920s, Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming made a remarkable discovery that would change the course of medicine. While studying bacteria, he noticed that a mold called Penicillium notatum had contaminated one of his petri dishes and was inhibiting bacterial growth around it. This serendipitous observation led Fleming to hypothesize that the mold was producing a substance that could kill bacteria.
Fleming's discovery laid the groundwork for the development of antibiotics, which are now widely used to treat bacterial infections. This breakthrough was a paradigm shift in medical thinking, as it introduced a completely new approach to combating infectious diseases.
The quote by Einstein resonates in this context because the traditional methods of treating infections were insufficient and ineffective. The same thinking that had created the problem of widespread bacterial infections could not provide a solution. It took a fresh perspective, represented by Fleming's observation and subsequent investigation, to bring about a breakthrough in medical science.
The discovery of antibiotics illustrates the importance of innovative thinking and the willingness to challenge established norms and beliefs. By adopting a new approach and thinking beyond the existing methods, Fleming was able to solve a problem that had plagued humanity for centuries.
This historical example demonstrates that when faced with complex problems, it is necessary to step outside of our familiar frameworks and explore new avenues of thinking. By embracing new perspectives, we open ourselves to the possibility of finding innovative solutions and overcoming the challenges that our previous thinking may have inadvertently created.
How can the quote be applied in a real-life scenario?
The quote "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them" by Albert Einstein emphasizes the importance of adopting new perspectives and approaches when facing challenges. In real-life scenarios, this quote can be applied in various ways to promote effective problem-solving and personal growth:
1. Problem-Solving: When encountering difficulties or obstacles, individuals should avoid being stuck in repetitive or ineffective thinking patterns that contributed to the problem's creation. Instead, they should seek fresh insights and alternative solutions to address the issue effectively.
2. Conflict Resolution: In conflicts or disagreements, trying to resolve the situation with the same mindset that led to the conflict may lead to further misunderstandings. By embracing a more open and empathetic perspective, individuals can find common ground and work towards a resolution.
3. Personal Development: The quote encourages individuals to recognize and challenge their limiting beliefs and behaviors that might hinder personal growth. Embracing new perspectives and seeking self-improvement can lead to positive transformations in one's life.
4. Innovation and Creativity: In business and creative endeavors, adopting the same old thinking can inhibit progress and hinder innovation. Embracing a culture of innovation and encouraging fresh ideas can lead to breakthroughs and success.
5. Adaptability: The quote highlights the importance of adaptability in an ever-changing world. Staying flexible and open to new ways of thinking can help individuals navigate uncertainties and challenges effectively.
6. Learning from Mistakes: Rather than dwelling on past mistakes, the quote encourages individuals to learn from them and adjust their approach moving forward. Embracing a growth mindset allows for continuous improvement and resilience.
7. Social and Global Issues: On a larger scale, addressing complex social or global problems may require new perspectives and collaborative efforts. Fostering innovation and promoting dialogue can lead to more sustainable and impactful solutions.
8. Leadership: Effective leaders recognize the need for fresh thinking and seek diverse perspectives from their teams. By encouraging an environment of creativity and open communication, leaders can inspire transformative change.
In summary, the quote "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them" calls for embracing new perspectives, innovative ideas, and open-mindedness in various aspects of life. By challenging old thinking patterns and being receptive to change, individuals and societies can overcome challenges, foster growth, and find creative solutions to complex problems.
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