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Did you realize that everything, everything, in life breaks down into simple parts? We, as people, create the complexity. There are great benefits from complex components. Look at the amazing technology that allows us to communicate, travel around the globe or enables a premature baby to breathe. We need complex… But we don’t need to create it for no good reason.
Everyday someone tells me that their relationship is “complicated” or that the challenge they are dealing with is overwhelming. It is however only that way by choice. Let’s distinguish though between simple and easy. Not every Simple Step is easy. Making changes in our lives can be really hard… especially if we’ve been doing what we’ve been doing forever. It can also appear hard or complex if we’re facing something we’ve never encountered before.
When Jack was diagnosed with leukemia and then cancer all the medical jargon, treatment plans and side effects were overwhelming to me… and had so many contingencies that it was hard to separate them. It required that we educate ourselves to make the best personal decision. In the end though it boiled down to surgery, radiation, extreme self care. None of this was easy… but it was a simple plan.
At the time when our businesses where failing the financial ramifications were oppressive. It all came down to either we paid the bill or we didn’t. All the other stress tied up in that was our own creation.
If you’re dealing with something right now that seems overwhelming or complicated try these Simple Steps to get to the heart of it all:
- Write down the issue in all it’s glory, as you see it. For example, “My job has changed and I don’t like working here but I can’t quit because we need the money. If I’m not working we can’t pay the rent and I don’t know where we’re going to live.
- Now break it down to the smallest parts: Using our example that would be (1)I hate my job (2)I can’t afford to quit (3)I have to pay the rent (4)I don’t know where we’d live if I couldn’t pay the rent.
- Look over your parts and ask yourself what is a true issue right now? In our example the true issue is that you don’t like your job. All the rest of the items are not issues but rather creations in your mind. All the other parts are irrelevant. You have a job and unless you walk out on it nothing else is an issue.
- Focusing on the single issue (You hate your job) what are you going to do about that? Consider all of your options. Quitting is not an option unless you have contingencies for all the other parts you outlined above. You could however be looking for a new job while keeping your current one, exploring your education to transition into a field that you’d enjoy more and even creating a product or providing a service that would supplement your current income to provide more flexibility.
When we make life complex we’re making excuses for not dealing with what we truly want to change. If however we work to simplify how we see our life then we find ways to make our life as we choose it to be.
What’s it going to be for you?