Change the Context for Clarity

Sometimes changing the context of a particular problem or dilemma can help us see the issue more clearly.

Note that this is only the case if the context itself is not particularly unique or relevant in the decision making process. Sometimes the context is central to deciding on the options and making an informed decision.

But much of the time, we can ‘transplant’ the basic outline or structure of the problem we face onto a different yet comparable situation. This is what is known in philosophy as a ‘thought experiment’ and it helps us view a problem or issue from a new perspective.

A simple example is to consider what your own advice would be (and why) if the issue or problem was passed on to a close friend or family member instead of facing it yourself. By doing this, you can take a step back from the issue at hand. Usually, the advice you would give to a close friend or family member is the same advice you should ‘give to yourself’.

For example, are you unsure whether you should get married to your partner? Imagine your brother or sister was engaged to him or her, and what your own advice would be to them, and on what basis.