This monday, I was reading the email list from the psychology blog, Bakadesuyo. There was a clickbait to Dan Pink’s “The most important thing I learnt in Law School.”

In summary, if there is a big hairy complicated situation, once you understand the basic 1%, the rest of the situation is easier to grasp. For example, the 1% of Da Zong’s blog is, how do I get from a place with no girlfriends/casual dates, to a place with a girlfriend/casual dates.

This situation works because all too often our minds tries to tie in all the details at once, or our emotions are distracted by some juicy details. In other words, we miss the forest for the trees.

Like the 5 whys of Toyota, this is something easy to easy but very hard to do. As an intellectual exercise, try the 5 whys on why you want to find a girlfriend/ get casual dates. As a quick and deep guess, the ultimate reason is because past puberty, we suddenly get a dash of loneliness when we do not have a romantic partner (as pointed out by Dotseng and School of Loneliness).

As an aside, pre-puberty, we get the same loneliness when we do not have family (for the younger children) to family and friends  (for older children) to friends (for pre-puberty teenagers). As orphans and other children separated from their parents would point out, pre or post-puberty, we still feel lonely if our parents were not there. As children with parents, our parents fade back into the emotional background when we feel loneliness. I myself was guilty when in school days, I complained to myself I felt lonely because I had no friends, never mind that I saw my parents everyday.

Dan Pink used it to understand complicated topics in law. We can use it to apply to our situation.

For example, “How do I build an attractive upper body?” The 1% (simplified answer) is “Go lift heavy things and go running (to build a flat tummy).” “How to I change my low income career to a higher earning one?” One of the 1% answers “Learn Javascript. Then get a job as a javascript developer.” “How do I become a writer/better writer” 1 possible answer: “Write a blog post everyday. (Incidentally this is what Dazong is doing)”

This is one of the powerful tools for analysis and for solution and execution. Like every other tool, it is useful when it is appropriate and potentially harmful when it is not. And like Musashi said in the Book of Five Rings, “Research it well.”