🗡 009 The Knot of Gordium
Framing the problem
🪢 According to legend, the kingdom of Phrygian had a problem. They needed a king. Lacking other options, the townspeople went to a nearby oracle to seek advice.
The nearby town was famous for predictions and visited regularly by the powerful, learned, and influential. Surely, someone, there could help.
They did. The oracle declared that the next person to enter Phrygia's capital of Gordium driving an ox-cart would become king. Soon after a farmer did just that and became king.
The farmer's son, feeling indebted, donated the ox cart to the god Zeus and tied the cart to a post in the center of town. It was no normal slip not but rather composed of branches that dried and tightened over time. It was like a thousand earbud headphones in the world's largest pants pocket.
People tried to untie it, and the knot held.
Until Alex came to town. Alex had visited the same oracle as the townspeople. His message was that whoever undoes the not will become king of the world. That sounded good to Alex.
He walked into town and looked at the knot. He tested it. It looped around the ox cart and the post all while keeping his eyes on the knot.
We don't know what Alex was thinking. He was pretty well educated, maybe the best-educated person alive in his era. He was young, strong, and smart. If there was a person who could unravel this bird's next it would be him.
He took a step back from the knot. He looked at the ox cart, looked at the poll. He retreated half a pace with his right foot, reached to his hip for his hilt, pulled his sword, brought the blade up from his shoulder, arced it through the air, and down through the knot of Gordium.
That was how Alexander the Great, king of Greece, student of Aristotle, undid the knot of Gordium and built his empire.
The way things are presented affects the way things are rationalized. So one handy tool to solve a problem is to look at the same situation in a different way.
🏎 How do you win a race?
Sometimes races are won by the fastest. But sometimes races are won by the consistent.
The 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans was not won by the fastest team, but the most consistent one. Not only that, but the winning team broke a ** 40-year-old record**.
☀️ Have a great weekend.