The Repudiation of Over-Complication
The fuck does that even mean? ^^^
Think cryptocurrency, think self-driving cars, think the Roomba – well that one is actually pretty cool if you haven’t tried it – think mind-boggling interview questions, think extensive 100-page proposals, marketing plans, or papers – we are making unnecessarily convoluted advancements to our society that just don’t need to be. These are the things that are impossible to fully understand. They take experts to explain and even then it is such high level content that most cannot even comprehend. I want to remind you that it is okay not to think this way.
I get that certain improvements can make people wealthier or make peoples’ lives easier. No doubt about it and more power to all of you profiting off of bitcoin, that’s fantastic. Look at Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg, tremendously talented individuals who have made billions and impacted the lives of billions through their creations.
But it’s difficult to replicate what these men accomplished. Rather, I want you to think of somebody like Sheryl Sandberg, who also has influenced billions and made billions. She did so however in a way that is simpler to understand, a way that others should aim to follow, a way that does not take intricate technological
formulas and algorithms to envelop. By no means was her methodology easier. I believe she is even more astonishing because she has been able to spark a movement through spoken and written word, word that is more digestible for the common person.
Don’t Over-Complicate Words
I was in a 3rd grade advanced reading class and we had just finished reading Abel’s Island, a book about a mouse struggling for survival that incorporated themes of love, change, escape, freedom, and had some pretty big words for 3rd grade readers. It was one of my first book reports, and having used vocabulary like, “indubitably”, “intelligible”, and “cornucopia”, I thought there was no way I wouldn’t ace this thing. But when I got back the paper, there was a red 77 on it that made my heart hang lower than my oversized rim rocka shorts. Mrs. Tozar had given me my first unexceptional grade and the 3rd grader inside me thought, “That bitch!”
But my initial sentiment perfectly demonstrates the drawback of immediate overreaction, because Mrs. Tozar was certainly not a bitch, and she happens to be one of the most incredible teachers and human beings I ever had the pleasure of meeting. After crying for several hours, I approached Mrs. Tozar about the report and she said, “It doesn’t sound like you when you try to use these big fancy words. Write in your own voice, the way that you and I are talking right now, and people will understand.” Beautiful.
Wise words from a wise woman and they could not be more accurate. Complexity in both the spoken and written word takes away from the clarity of the message. The audience is forced to fight through the weeds with a bayonet to interpret the message, rather than walk through unscathed.
Think about school applications or job descriptions. Would you rather be told that you are going to “collaborate effectively to foster a unique working environment that focuses on accountability and profitability to benefit the company and yourself, while maintaining a healthy work-life balance”, or would you want to see something brutally simple and honest that says, “We are going to work our asses off to get shit done, but we’ll make sure we enjoy ourselves while doing it.” I understand that these two methodologies appeal to different types of people, but as a millennial tired of the fluff we are constantly delivered that does not always translate to reality, I choose the latter every single time.
Don’t Over-Complicate Ideas
Remember that Singing Fish who was probably mounted on your wall at some point during your childhood? Big Mouth Billy Bass made hundreds of millions in sales during its fad existence. It sprouted from the mind of Joe Pellettieri, an idealist at a toyshop in Texas. He thought about what customers had never seen up to that point, but would peak their curiosity, and the rest is gag gift history.
Kevin Systrom doesn’t live the luxurious lifestyle of Evan Spiegel, or have the outspoken track record of Travis Kalanick, and he may not be a household name to many, but Kevin is the guy who came up with a little idea called Instagram. Again, with the notion of creating something that people wanted, that was totally customer based with the intention of making them feel like the stars, a seemingly simplistic idea has gone on to make billions.
Simplicity combined with effective implementation is paramount.
Don’t Over-Complicate Decisions
I’m unemployed. I have a degree from Northwestern University, a Masters from Kellogg School of Management, experience with startups, consulting firms, and banks, but still no job, no income, no financial stability, no certainty. Shit, I’m fucked!
I’m totally joking, that is not how I think at all. It’s gonna be aright. I recently quit a job where I was making plenty of money for a 23-year old. I don’t say that to brag or to let you know that I’m actually doing fine, but rather, I say so to drive home the point that I’ve discovered that monetary compensation is clearly not one of the factors that motivates my happiness.
As I was discussing with people close to me if stepping away from my company was the right thing to do, it was my very simple answers to seemingly complex and existential questions that drove my decision to quit.
“What do you want to do with your life J?” “I want to be happy.”
“Are you happy going to this job everyday?” “No.”
Boom that was it. I packed my things and left the next day.
Our decisions should be driven by emotional logic. An oxymoron I know, but I knew I was going to be okay after quitting. I didn’t want to be one of those people who said, “I hate my job I want to quit”, every single day, but never did because I was wavering on this decision constantly, evaluating 30 different life factors and questions that could be impacted by my decision.
Rather, it’s a simple set of questions that I believe should drive meaningful decisions:
- Do I enjoy my life as much as possible in this current moment?
- Will I be able to enjoy my life more doing something else?
- Will I be homeless, struggling for survival if I changed my current situation?
If these are your answers to the above questions then it’s time to make a change. It’s time to realize that as groundbreaking as it may seem to others, you are the only person who truly understands exactly what it’s like to feel like you and act like you. And you need to feel and act the way that is going to get you to where you want to be.
Make the simple decisions, be easily understood, and propose the ideas that smack you right in the face. It will all work out.
And remember, it’s not indubitably intelligible; it’s just simple.
Getting COMFY, specifically, is a 5-step morning routine to energize the body and soothe the mind.
Getting COMFY, more broadly, is a movement based on Getting COMFY waking up in the morning, Getting COMFY in your own skin, and Getting COMFY with the rest of your life.
Getting COMFY: Your Morning Guide to Daily Happiness, is a book coming out on January 31st that highlights these ideas.