Small problems

William Liao
1 min readMay 21, 2024

Many problems that feel big now prove to not be nearly as consequential as we imagine.

In my profession, data analytics, reporting the wrong number can feel like a cardinal sin — especially when that number is presented to someone high in the organizational hierarchy.

Should this error be avoided? Of course.

But guess what? It happens.

It doesn’t feel good in the moment and admitting mistake can also feel like a blow to the professional standards you hold for yourself.

But then the world goes on. Your life goes on.

Other problems rise to relevance, while this error you made — unless it led to some truly catastrophic outcome — fades into the distance.

Recognizing a tendency to overestimate problem significance is invaluable. When understood and embraced, it can lift a significant weight off your back.

Many of the problems you are facing now are likely going to prove to be small in the future.

You may not know how yet, but, like you always do, you’ll manage to move forward one way or another.

Trust in that.



William Liao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (