This week is going to be a “things I’m thinking about” week, so let’s start with a recent Seth Godin blog post called Problems and Boundaries:
All problems have solutions.
That’s what makes them problems.
The solution might involve trade-offs or expenses that you don’t want to incur. You might choose not to solve the problem. But there is a solution. Perhaps you haven’t found it yet. Perhaps you need to do more research or make some tradeoffs in what you’re hoping for.
If there is no solution, then it’s not a problem.
It’s a regrettable situation. It’s a boundary condition. It’s something you’ll need to live with.
So. Problems vs. boundaries is something I’ve been thinking about in my own life and — not at all coincidentally — one of the focuses of NEXT BOOK.
The examples of boundary conditions Seth gives in his blog post are along the lines of choices eliminating other choices: if you have committed your time to event X, you cannot also commit to simultaneous event Y.
I’m fine with that. I LOVE that. Even the part that comes with hard tradeoffs.
But I’m curious about larger-scale problems (climate change, socioeconomic disparity, etc.), the point at which they turn into boundary conditions, and what that implies.