There are Many Problems with Everyday Problems
There are a number of reasons why our everyday problems don’t get solved. Let me note a few of the more common problems with everyday problems, but I am sure you might suggest others that fail to come to my mind at the moment.
The Single Point of Failure. You are working with a complex set of equipment or a system that experiences one simple point of failure, and all stops. I am about to use my smart phone, part of a global technical system, but find that my battery is too low. I’ve stopped doing home repair jobs because I continually find one aspect that fails, leading the whole job to be redone.
The Missing Piece. Closely related to the single failure is the missing piece. You have everything in place to accomplish something, but you are missing one piece. This could be the screw left out of the do it yourself kit, or when the phone runs out of power, you are missing the wire needed to recharge the phone from your laptop.
The Over-determined Problem. Here the problem is the result of so many failures that it is impossible to attribute the problem to any one or even a small set of failures. Many disasters are over-determined by many things going wrong simultaneously.
The Problem is Too Big. Some problems have a clear solution, which you are equipped to solve, but they are so big and time consuming that you can’t face it. I experience this problem in doing taxes.
The Problem is Too Little. In contrast, some problems are so trivial that you see not point in solving it right here and now. I always put off moving a dirty cup from the counter into the dish washer.
The Problem is not Immediate. This can be confused with problems that are not immediate. You could do it later. I often put my glasses in an odd place, because I can always move them to my desk or bedside later. Although that creates the problem of finding the glasses since the problem was not a problem in the immediate situation, but becomes a time consuming problem when you can’t find the glasses.
The Problem is Down Stream. Solving your problem often needs to wait on someone else solving theirs. A father and son pair of carpenters at my home used to always say “I have a dollar waiting on a nickel.” Until he father did his little bit, the son could not move ahead with the big job.
Not my Problem. You might recognize a problem, but not feel it is yours to solve. Someone else owns the problem. If someone cannot surf, it is not your problem.
It is a Genuine Problem without a Clear Solution. These are rare, but the fear of these often leads you to avoid them.
Surfing is a genuine problem, which is why it is one reason that it is so satisfying.