Living in a Problem

Since I started working almost exclusively on Four Minute Books, something fascinating has happened: I keep having ideas. Every morning, I wake up and, almost immediately, write down 3-5 things I should do, or fix, or at least consider going forward. I have ideas in the morning, ideas in the shower, and ideas late at night.

Shane Parrish would say I’m “living in a problem:” “When you commit to living in a problem, you understand things about it that the tourist cannot.”

If one third of your brain power goes to writing a book, another third to an influencer business, 20% to freelance work, and the last 14% to managing your life, chances are, you’re not gonna have many brilliant breakthroughs in any one arena. Thankfully, everyday life admin usually doesn’t demand those — but the rest? Phew. Those are tough without some pizzazz.

If you feel like you’re treading water in several different kiddie pools, try diving off the deep end. Pick a big, important problem and move in. Live in it. Make yourself comfortable. You’ll spot blemishes and details and connections no one else can see, and, as a result, you just might be the one to crack this nut many others have long given up on but that, once you manage to break its shell, will offer the sweet taste of victory.