Avoid mistaking effect for cause

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Every problem has a root cause which must be found before the problem can be solved. It is common among those seeking to solve a problem to mistakenly identify a mere symptom as the root of the problem. But treating the symptom will not lead to a solution. It can even create more complications, making the problem worse than at the outset.
For example, a doctor must properly diagnose the disease at the root of an illness in order to cure it. If he or she cannot provide a proper diagnosis, but gives only prescriptions for superficial symptoms, the condition of the patient may not improve, and further complications may lead to loss of life. In this instance, distinguishing between causes and symptoms is vital.
In daily life, people who mistake an effect for the main cause are often said to be naïve. They expend their efforts in vain, trying to prevent effects without ever getting to the heart of the matter. They cannot find a solution but spend their entire lives trying to solve the same problems again and again. Success will never come to them, even if they are given the greatest opportunities to achieve it.

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