Sunday, 11 April 2010

Naming a problem is the first step towards a solution - Story of Johannes Gutenberg
(Part 1 of 4)

Annoyance and irritation are part of daily life. When we encounter unexpected difficulties, we often become emotional and raise our voice. When people oppose our plans, we question their intentions and express our discontent. However, the fact that those reactions are natural does not make them effective.

Successful living is a process of dealing with adversity and overcoming obstacles. If we stay alert and adopt an entrepreneurial attitude, trouble can reveal opportunities to improve our environment. Everybody is able to complain, but too few individuals are motivated to analyse problems, study their causes, and figure out solutions.

Anger and discontent may mark the steps to a better life more effectively than conformity. Those who accept disruption without resistance seldom come up with ideas to prevent further perturbation. In contrast, those who hate interruptions tend to be the ones who suggest protective measures.

Problems must be perceived as such before they can be dissected and solved. It is not a coincidence that most inventors and entrepreneurs are independent characters. Individuals who trust their own perception do not fear calling things by their names. Exacerbated diplomacy can undermine sincerity and inhibit personal initiative.

Johannes Gutenberg (1398-1468), to whom History credits with the invention of the printing press, was the quintessential self-reliant entrepreneur. He was trained as a goldsmith, plied his trade for decades in several German towns, and it was only in his forties that he identified the business opportunity that would transform his life.

To be continued in Part 2


[Image by Rob Aguilar under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under]

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