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How to Solve any Problem


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Welcome to the “Ultimate Problem Solving Blog”. This weekly blog is extracted from the basic 10 Week Course I offer – “How to Solve Any Problem”. If this is your first time on this site, Welcome. The course is based on my research into Game Based Thinking – a basic approach to dealing with the challenges and obstacles that comes with daily living and human interaction.

Let me give you a short introduction to the concept of Applied Game Thinking. It’s the fastest way ti make wise decisions and reduce your struggles.


If you are already familiar with applied game thinking or game theory  just skip ahead to today’s blog.



For Beginners: What is Game Thinking?

Applied Game Thinking is a system that explains why and how individuals and organizations strategize, i.e. make decisions when one person (or more than one other person, place or thing) might also affect the outcome of the decision.

This is pretty basic stuff.

The work is based on a concept called Game Theory. In the 1930’s John von Neumann (December 28, 1903 – February 8, 1957) developed an interest in how people strategize in certain environments especially game environments.  A Hungarian-American physicistinventor,  computer scientistpolymath and one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century, Von Neumann had made, and would make major contributions to a number of fields.

Von Neumann, a skilled poker player, began to explore the obvious and subtle elements that made a person a winning player.

He saw that the best players had  an understanding of various models of conflict, competition and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers.  Even children have this understanding when playing simple games.


Von Neumann saw that the same elements used in poker and even simple games like Tic-Tac-Toe. Game Thinking  could also be applied to more complex systems such as economicspolitical science, and psychology, as well as logiccomputer sciencebiology and business and personal relationships.   Originally, his explorations focused on games where someone wins at the expense of others (win/lose games). These came to be known as zero-sum games,

Von Neumann improved and extended his ideas on Applied Game Thinking. He and many others defined  games and the strategies one could apply in games based on various factors.  Including:

  1. Is it a win/win game or a win/lose game?
  2. Do the players compete sequentially as in chess or simultaneously as in Rock-Paper Scissors?
  3. Do all the players have access to the same information (perfect-information) or so some players have access to information that the other players do not have (Imperfect information)?


I am a wealth, success and human potential mentor and coach. I spend most of my time refining and expanding the ideas in classical game theory and presenting them in a form that even a nine year old can understand.

By applying the concepts in game thinking and following the suggestions in this course you will be able to solve any problem if it is actually solvable. In addition many problems that previously seemed impossible to solve will fall into the realm of the obviously solvable.

If you are interested in exploring applied game thinking on a deeper level I suggest you explore the many Ebooks and soft covered mentoring and coaching books listed on the RealUGuru.com website.

I also offer a large number of personal mentoring and coaching programs.

Lewis Harrison


Today’s Blog:  Solving Complex Problems through Game Thinking

Most concepts related to game theory are gross simplifications. They were invented for conceptual simplicity and computational convenience in models based on logic, and rational thinking. In LHAGT we label certain games as “complex games*” if they appear to have three core factors involved play. These factors are discussed im ymy Ebook on the subject and  include

  1. Symmetry: Any game in which the identity of the player does not change the resulting game facing that player. In such a scenario In other words each player earns the same payoff when making the same choice against similar choices of his/her competitors.
  2. Continuity: A strategy that allows games to include more general sets of pure strategies. A “pure strategy” is a plan that determines all your moves during the game (and should therefore specify your moves in response to all possible other players’ moves. In general sets these strategies may be uncountably infinite.
  3. Fungibility: The property of a strategy that can be substituted for with another strategy.

These are important in order to allow an individual (especially in a pre-computer world) to utilize the methods of mathematics and analysis. In complex problems calculus would have been the mathematics of choice to isolate the most effective strategy.

One way to do this is to list (classify) games and game based strategies by certain criteria. For instance, one thing that virtually all games require is some primary benefit to be gained from engaging in the game (Utility*). This defining factor is called a “Cardinal Approach*” From the Latin cardinālis (“pertaining to a hinge, hence applied to that on which something turns or depends, important, principal, chief”). The assumption according to this approach is that a specific benefit (utility) is measurable and can be expressed in quantitative terms. In a Cardinal utility approach one is defining the primary benefit (the utility) by measuring its value and what is to be gained by obtaining or achieving it. In game based thinking the concept of utility is cardinal (essential). In a business transaction the price that a consumer is willing to pay for a good or service is an indication of the utility of that good or service to the consumer. Sometimes a good or service has many different components. Here an individual may need to measure the benefits gained from each component. The sum of the benefits (utility), a consumer derives from the consumption of the different units of a good or service is called the Total utility*.


In addition to the Cardinal Approach* other key factors that are required in defining a game are whether:

  • The game is win-win or win-lose;
  • Whether all the players have access to the same information or some players have access to information that other don’t;
  • Whether the game is sequential where one player make a move and the other player then makes the next move like chess or a game where many different actions are taking place simultaneously. An example of a simultaneous game is Rock-Paper-Scissors, a widely played hand game. This is a real life example of a simultaneous game. Both players make a decision at the same time, randomly, without prior knowledge of the opponent’s decision.


Without having these five elements in place you are likely, at least financially, to struggles unnecessarily.

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If you are looking to take the next step in your life a great place to begin is by reading my Ebook.


Winning the Game of Life: A Primer to Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory

The book can be purchased and downloaded by clicking below at:

Winning The Game Of Life: A Primer On Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory



Lewis Harrison – RealUGuru, is a writer, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem solving and strategizing  based on game thinking, applied game theory and Game Thinking.

He is the author of over twenty-two books published in five languages.


Don’t forget to tune to the RealUGuru  Radio show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST  at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at WIOXRadio.org.

If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to read Lewis’ recently published business books.

You can find books on game theory and business success here:



This course and all the offerings on www.RealUGuru.com  focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on business success and human potential.

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