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Walter Jacobson, M.D.

Walter Jacobson, M.D.

Posted November 22, 2009

Published in Health, Lifestyle

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The Value of Truth, Facts and Logic in Problem-Solving

Read More: calm, deduction, denial, facts, logic, problem-solving, solutions, truth

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I was looking for an identification card. I was certain I hadn't thrown it away. Unfortunately, I had put it someplace where I could not find it.

I presumed I had placed it in a particular desk drawer, but having gone through the contents of the drawer twice already, and quite carefully, I was starting to wonder if I had indeed thrown it away accidentally.

That concept only lasted a few seconds. I knew there was no way I had tossed that card. This left me with the unpleasant awareness that the card was somewhere in my house and that I had to keep looking.

As I was about to embark on my search, leaving the desk drawer in the dust despite knowing that the desk drawer was the most obvious and rational place I would have put the card, I recalled something that had happened when I was looking through the desk drawer's contents the second go-around.

While searching for the card I noticed that a software CD had found its way into an envelope containing entirely unrelated materials.

I removed it from the envelope to avoid future confusion when down the road I would be looking for that CD. But I hadn't thought much else of it at the time.

Suddenly the thought popped into my head: If the CD found its way into an unrelated envelope, then it's possible that the I.D. card I'm looking for could also have found its way into an unrelated envelope, and that before moving into my Nicholas Cage seeking national treasure mode, I should go through the desk drawer contents one more time.

As I picked up in my hands the entire contents of the drawer to put it on top of the desk and give myself more space to do the job meticulously, I spotted the I.D. card!

It had cleverly wedged itself against the inside front wall of the drawer making it invisible to anybody looking for it unless they first removed all the contents of the drawer like I had just done.

Problem solved. Thanks to Arthur Conan Doyle I might add. One thing that always struck me about Sherlock Holmes was his insistence that truth be treasured for the factual foundation that it provides, and not be ignored, denied or distorted.

The truth was that I had to have put that card in that drawer and nowhere else. It would have made no sense for me to put it anywhere else. Therefore, the card is in the drawer.

But I looked. Twice. I didn't find it.

That doesn't change the fact that the card is in the drawer.

Okay. If it's in the drawer and I looked and couldn't find it, then it must be hiding and rather than look elsewhere where the card isn't, I need to get more focused in my search, mobilizing the no stone unturned approach.

As soon as I accepted the logical conclusion that the card was in the drawer camouflaged in some way, my mind approached the search differently, and the card was found with no further effort.

So what's the take-home message? When you're looking for the solution to any problem (whether that problem be of a personal, relationship, occupational, economic, political or religious nature), respect the facts and don't discard them because they don't seem to be getting you the results you desire, unless you enjoy wild goose chases.

Instead, stick to what you know to be true and keep looking for solutions that are compatible and consistent with the facts, despite seeming dead ends.

Truth, facts, and logic will ultimately prevail if we remain calm, avoid catastrophic fear thoughts, keep our eye on our goal and persist in our efforts.

Eureka!


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