There are no problems in nature. When something happens, no matter how bad, nature does not look for a solution or a resolution. An asteroid could hit a planet, and there are no tribunals of inquiry, no hunt for causes. Nope. In nature, irrespective of the damage, time just continues on. An invasive weed could take over an entire island, killing its former inhabitants, rendering the island deserted apart from that one obnoxious plant. If nobody is looking on, it’s not a problem, just a change.

Problems are only a product of the mind. To have a problem, you have to have some sort view as to how things should be. Problems are created when reality diverges from that view. If a machine is not running well, you need a concept of “running well” somewhere.

Thus problems are subjective. If there are different expectations of how reality should behave, then depending on who is looking at it, the problem will look different, or there might not be a problem at all.

If you are the invader of a country that does not want to be invaded, and they resist like hell, then your problem is that they are not complying with your intention the way you would like them to. If you are being invaded, then your problem is to get the buggers out. If you are an arms dealer, then what’s the problem?

So problems depend on who is asking and good problem solving depends on a sharing and agreeing a view of what the problem is.

Problem solving should therefore begin with the question “who?” – who is asking and what is their view of what reality should be? Without clarifying that, you are only inviting confusion.