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Inspiring Problem-Solving Quotes for the Season

Jacqui Murray

Throughout history, success often comes to the person or side that can solve the most problems. For America’s colonists, that included everything fundamental to life -- housing, protection, food, family. None of the situations they faced in the new land were considered standard, nor were their solutions. Life could never be on auto-pilot.

So that first Thanksgiving, and many
thereafter, one skill they gave thanks for
was their ability to solve problems, think critically, see a solution where experience
and upbringing dictated there wasn’t one.
Heroes of that time -- and every era thereafter -- were those who could think outside the box, build solutions, and then sell everyone around them on the wisdom of attempting what had never before been tried.

On Thanksgiving this year, be thankful for your family and friends who think differently than everyone else, who always come up with a solution that no one’s ever tried before, who have the courage to raise their hand and offer a unique approach.

In honor of these people, here are some inspiring quotes from men who laugh at problems, shake their fist at adversity, revel at the idea that some consider a problem impossible to solve.

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Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
” --Winston Churchill

“In times like these, it is good to remember that there have always been times like these.
” -- Paul Harvey (broadcaster)

“Never try to solve all the problems at once -- make them line up for you one-by-one.
” -- Richard Sloma

“Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well-informed just to be undecided about them.” -- Laurence J. Peter

“Life is a crisis -- so what!
” -- Malcolm Bradbury

“You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.” -- Edwin Louis Cole

“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” -- Albert Einstein

“The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The truly dangerous thing is asking the wrong questions.” -- Peter Drucker

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” -- Woody Allen

“The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.” -- Theodore Rubin

“Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, "But how can it be like that?" because you will get "down the drain," into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.” -- Richard Feynman

“It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.” -- Albert Einstein

“There is a great difference between worry and concern. A worried person sees a problem, and a concerned person solves a problem.” -- Harold Stephens

“While average people are thinking negatively about problems, successful people view their problems positively. They love problems. They eat them for breakfast.” -- Unknown

“No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking.” -- Voltaire

“Problems are only opportunities with thorns on them.” -- Hugh Miller

“Why? Because problems create value; the more problems you can solve, the more valuable you will be, the more money you will make, the more responsibility you will have.” -- Brian Klemmer

“It is not stress that kills us. It is effective adaptation to stress that allows us to live.
” -- George Vaillant

“On the infrequent occasions when I have been called upon ... to play the bongo drums, the introducer never seems to find it necessary to mention that I also do theoretical physics.” -- Richard Feynman



Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. She is webmaster for six blogs, CSG Master Teacher, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, a columnist for, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.

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