Simplicity, Simplicity, Simplicity!

Seth Dozerman: Hello, I’m your new Commanding Officer, Captain Seth Dozerman. My motto is simple: efficiency, efficiency, efficiency.

Jake: You could probably just say it once.

~Brooklyn Nine-Nine, S3E1

As I mentioned yesterday, half way through last year, I gave myself a goal: Chase serenity. I want to keep that as my main focus for 2023, but I will aim to get myself to a more serene state by focusing on simplicity this year. I think that simplicity will lead to serenity.

simplicity → serenity

I have a tendency to overthink things. Just like I didn’t realize that I was living my life at maximum velocity, I also didn’t realize that I can sometimes make things more complicated than they need to be. This can be a result of my perfectionism. (Remember: that’s not a compliment.) I want to get all of the parts leading up to a particular goal perfect which pretty much guarantees that it will be impossible to reach that goal.

I have found a way around this, but I have to admit that I don’t like the medicine that I have prescribed for myself, even though it definitely works. The antidote to my overthinking and over-complicating things is to ASK FOR HELP and share my thinking with at least one other human being before charging forth with my “brilliant plans”. I do not know why, but I find it very, very hard to ask for help.

What I have learned over the past decade of being a leader is that my plans aren’t always as good as I think they are, and if I ask even one other person, my plans will always improve. The other person doesn’t need to be an expert in whatever problem I am trying to solve to be able to make my idea better. They just need to be engaged enough in the conversation to listen to the problem, listen to my proposed solution, and then give their perspective. This works to improve my plans every single time.

And yet, I still sometimes find myself hoarding my ideas and thinking that I’ve got things figured out. This is definitely an area of growth for me, and I think that by focusing on simplicity this year, it will help me get out of my own way and ask for help. If I know that I tend to come up with overly complicated plans, and if I know that more simplicity in my life will lead to more serenity, then it is in my own best interest, if I am truly chasing serenity, to check my plans with someone else to see if there is a simpler way that I haven’t thought of. I hope that this focus on simplicity will make me more willing to ask for help in 2023.