book hack

Problem Solving 101

Ken Watanabe

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Problem Solving 101 is a universal, four-step template for overcoming challenges in life, based on a traditional method Japanese school children learn early on.


Problem Solving 101

Problem Solving 101

by Ken Watanabe


Having a methodical approach to how you deal with problems, as opposed to just going by gut and feelings, can make a big difference in how successful you are in overcoming your obstacles. Ken Watanabe first discovered this approach when he was in school.

The Japanese education system has long had a leg up on its Western counterpart. They also have a much better concept of retirement, called 'ikigai'. When it comes to problem-solving, Japanese children learn a very basic, universal template in their first years of school.

After growing up in Japan, then studying in the US, this is the template that Ken Watanabe decided to share in Problem Solving 101. If you've been wanting to improve your analytical and problem-solving abilities, let's jump right in!

Favorite quote

Do what is right because it is right.

- Ken Watanabe

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