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Certain phrases travel so well through life giving us succour at times when wisdom and support are needed most. Such was a message that I read almost daily when I started work as a young Engineer. I’ve carried it through life, not as a burden but rather as a statement for success as it has served me well for all these years. 

Don’t find the fault find the remedy – Henry Ford

It’s the Engineers mantra for success, as it clearly encapsulates the journey from diagnosis, through methods of discovery and onto the final solution. This Engineers wisdom allows us a non-emotional response to an issue, problem or need. It allows the luxury of real methodical unprejudiced consideration to value propositions leading ultimately to acceptable measurable outcomes. 

Most of us live a life that is counter to the first part of this phrase. We do indeed find the fault and like Velcro we stick just there in the negative and remain blissfully ignorant without attempting to see even the contextual moving parts. We take delight in a given knowledge, for example, all politicians are corrupt or that we are being ripped off by energy companies. The extremes are easier to grasp amidst the sea of ideas that the centralist would approach with an open attitude of consideration. Black and white views are tonally easier to grasp hold of rather than attempting to dwell in the less contrasted middle ground of views. These prior statements about politicians and energy companies may well be true in part but I doubt very much that they are true in all conditions or circumstances. Life is nuanced, has depth and we should seek to shine a light into the abyss of information in the nobler pursuit of unadulterated understanding.

We view the road to a solution as being too difficult a path to even start to walk along as just capturing the relevant information is fraught with mental anxiety. We forgive ourselves even starting the journey of discovery. This is where we can stay basking in the negative glow of absolute undiscovered nonsense. We become comforted by the simplicity of our view or opinion and remain deluded that this does indeed represent our held view ad infinitum. 

Finding the remedy is the more liberating, powerful and personally courageous part of the journey. It has the potential to draw us away from our idealised confirmation biased survival strategies. Should we look too deeply we run the risk of loosing the warm embrace of group acceptance, whose simplified narrative we feel so compelled to promote.

There are also people that take the journey, assimilate the data but alas don’t make useful information connections leading to knowledge. Pitfall after pitfall, as the journey along the path to real understanding has many ways to keep us from the prize of considered knowledge and understanding.

The solution is the sum of the parts, the whole is the destination to realising true enlightenment of mind.

I’ve heard it said that there are no truths but only interpretations.  We throw information up in the air by discovery and it falls down in differing configurations contorting our ambition for unequivocal knowledge. The ultimate goal is that we all use logical methods and factorise the information such that we all come up with the same resulting knowledge and understanding. Not much chance of that, as we all see reality through the prism of our own experiences and prior understanding. But logic is logic and all we need to aim for is to leave information prejudice aside and to meet the knowledge journey with our own personal tabula rasa as a start point. 

The key is to start the discovery journey with a blank sheet and an open mind ready to embrace all potential knowledge outcomes. Stay the course even if the received knowledge starts to contradict your own deeply held world view. Only then will the knowledge be of real value.