How Do You Answer A $99,000 Question?

More often than not, the little things are right in front of you. We try to think so hard about how to find solutions to different problems that we don’t realize all we have to do is look right in front of us. We get so worked up with trying to do things right that we can run ourselves into a situation where we don’t get anything done at all.

I love this example of that in practice- this classic episode from The Honeymooners. Ralph Kramden, in all his haste thinking he would ace all the questions on “The $99,000 Answer,” ignores the warm-up music when he’s practicing. 


When it comes time for the show: Mr. Kramden, for $100, who is the composer of Swanee River?”

(…Blank stare…)

This moment teaches a valuable lesson: Sometimes the answer to the big question is right in front of you. Brilliance can be found in stating the obvious.

Never let over-confidence get in the way of you making sound decisions. Remember, the "what else" in life is always in the details.


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  • You certainly hit the nail on the head with your analysis. I love this episode too. In fact, my seventh-grade writing students are viewing it this week and writing a response on it. Thanks!

    Jonathan Wright on

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