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Of alll the skills in 2016 you can learn, the most valuable is the ability to find something online.


Almost every piece of information is available online. Right now my shoulder hurts. Really bad. Let’s walk through how I can find out what could be wrong with my shoulder.

Here’s what someone who does not have search skills would type:

“My shoulder hurts real bad” or “How can I stop my shoulder from hurting”.

I’m gonna give you a key secret now – and I saw it in a movie this weekend, which is when I recognized I was doing it all the time.


What’s a stop word?  (the, how, I, can, might… etc). Take the sentence above “How can I stop my shoulder from hurting?” This is the same thing with stop words removed and slight adjustment to more meaningful words:

“prevent shoulder hurting”

In my case I had a similar shoulder pain a few years ago that was caused by calcium buildup. So:

“shoulder pain calcium”.
“shoulder calcium removal”

I don’t; know if it’s calcium. .I’m thinking that it could be just muscle pain because the desk I work at is too high and my chair is too low:

“shoulder muscle pain”
“shoulder pain desk”

If you want to be precise add another meaningful word or two:

“shoulder pain desk height”

And there I found something – I might try reducing the height of my desk, or getting a taller chair.

Hmmm… could I have slept badly on my shoulder?

“shoulder pain sleeping”

Jackpot again. I often sleep on my left shoulder. This has also happened many times in the past.

I’ll probably see the doctor if this gets any worse. But for now It puts my mind at rest and I can save some dollars by waiting out the pain a few days.

And most pain goes away after a few days anyway, unless you have chronic pain:

“chronic shoulder pain”

Surprisingly something else came up in these results – how to exercise the shoulder to get back in shape. Awesome!

Searching online can be productive or frustrating.

1. Cut back on stop words.
2. Make your query into 3 important words or more.

You’ll find anything you want in no time. Hope that was helpful.