One errant tendency I have tried to eradicate over the years is my inclination to over-complicate situations. Perhaps we all do it. Perhaps it is human nature. Nonetheless, though, it is often entirely unnecessary.
I am not talking about grand, complex situations (which are, too, often overly thought out). I am really talking about, and I think you may empathize with, the day-to-day scenarios that we spend a stupid amount of time worrying about, analyzing, and dissecting.
Most things in life are not rocket science. Most successful people have become successful not by chasing algorithms. Not by building some complex system.
Most outliers are outliers because they worked really hard on simple, executable tasks for a long period of time. While there is room in life for cleverness and creativity (I’d argue we need more of it), most things are doable. Most things are entirely practical and actionable.
Yet most people do not do any of them because we overcomplicate the steps needed to actually execute.
We spend too much of our lives playing what if games.
How many hours a week do we spend with our minds consumed by scenarios, possibilities, and outcomes that never come to fruition? How much time do we spend on little, tiny annoyances that are a) not fun b) not interesting and c) not rewarding?
How much time do we spend picking restaurants? Arguing over the bill? Deleting our emails?
Future planning is at the crux of this absurdity.
That is why I have tried to stop future planning so much. I have written about this several times before, but perhaps to reinforce at least in my own mind, I find it important to remember the following few mantras:
- the world changes really really quickly. the internet was invented like 50 years ago. iphones were invented like 10 years ago.
- it is near impossible to accurately predict the future
- the world spins regardless of my (or anyone’s) existence
Why try to beat that system?
I think the only true shortcut that I have really been able to find is with living in the moment. Being present is a superpower that so many of us neglect to harness.