Making the complex simple that was never complex in the first place

by Daniel Batten on October 27, 2009

Human beings have enormous brains, but that doesn’t mean we always use them. One of the ways we use our brains ineffectively is to make simple things complex.

Example 1: staying at optimum weight/health
Simple requirement: Discipline. Eat more fruit/veg, less process food. do more exercise.
Complex alternative: reading many articles on weight-loss, research the best aerobic programmes, talk about needing to do something.

Example 2: Increasing sales
Simple requirement: Courage. Ask lots of people lots of bold questions every day.
Complex alternative: read lots, over-prepare, over-research

Example 3: Start up a company
Simple requirement: Intense focus and business acumen
Complex alternative: read many books about business, do an MBA, write a thesis.

Don’t get me wrong, whether it’s running a business, fitness programme or increasing sales- training and guidance is essential. But the best time to learn to swim is once you are in the pool. Just ensure you start at the shallow end.

There is a law in nature: the law of first action. The first action must come from you. You cannot ask your boss to give you a raise so you will be motivated to work harder any more than you could ask your school-teacher to give you good grades to motivate you to study harder. In business, you cannot say “just as soon as we get spare time/more profit – then we’ll have time to review our business strategy”, any more than you can stand by a fireplace asking it to get warm so you have the energy to go out and get some wood.

Follow the law of first action, do “feared things first” and you will achieve simple progress rather than complex meandering. There are two approaches to achieving simple progress
–  control the mind’s lack of discipline/focus/courage through daily practices that still the mind
– get a support-structure in place such as a peer-group, mastermind-group, coach or practical training programme that pushes you to overcome the obstacles in the mind

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