Tiago Forte introduced me to the concept of 12 favourite problems. The idea is to keep a dozen questions that fascinate you. When you learn information and ideas, the 12 problems become containers to organise new knowledge. The concept came from this Richard Feynman quote:
You have to keep a dozen of your favourite problems constantly present in your mind, although by and large they will lay in a dormant state. Every time you hear or read a new trick or a new result, test it against each of your twelve problems to see whether it helps. Every once in a while there will be hit, and people will say, "How did he do it? He must be a genius!"
Here are my favourite problems. I use these questions to guide my reading and to organise my notes.
- How can I unlock potential in the people I work with and through the experiences we create?
- How can I become a better coach and mentor for those around me?
- How can I foster life-long learning in a culture that desires short-term results?
- How can I consistently improve my communication? How can I write to inspire and speak to connect?
- What would creating look like if it were easy and fun?
- How can I help people achieve financial freedom?
- How can I live in the present while prioritising self improvement and growth?
- How can I balance learning, creating, and resting? How can I integrate more time for rest into my life?
- How can I make vulnerability, play and awe a part of every day?
- How can I live a long, healthy and happy life?
- How can I jointly raise a family that values love, empathy, curiosity, adventure and growth?
- What is my definition of success? How can I achieve a state of “enough”?