“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius
Do you tend to gravitate towards complexity? I do.
It greets us on the path of least resistance. We wind up there when we’re not paying attention. It’s the result of adding more without really assessing whether it’s necessary (or why). We get drawn away from simplicity when we fall into certain traps. For example, copying others, striving for perfection, and overthinking.
Simplicity is hard to achieve. But it creates the space for freedom, clarity, and focus to breathe.
We might also be drawn towards complexity because we think it is required for growth. The truth is actually the opposite.
Difficult or Complicated?
There is a difference between difficulty and complexity. Much like there is a distinction between simple and easy.
Good teachers know this. And if we want to be good students, we must learn this too.
Our capacity zone (the difficulty level we can cope with/master) increases over time. But only if we follow simple paths to prepare ourselves for the added difficulty.
When you learn to drive you don’t need to know everything about the mechanics of the car you are operating. You don’t even need to know all the road rules (yet). You just need to know what you need to know to get started.
Over time you will naturally learn other things as they become relevant or necessary.
A good teacher can communicate complex and brand new ideas/processes in simple and relatable ways.
High Sensitivity and Complexity
For highly sensitive types, complexity can become an overwhelming thing. It increases unnecessary demands on sensory processing.
It is common for HSPs to find ourselves grappling with. We often see the grey and nuance in the world. We usually observe before getting involved, which can lead to overthinking.
“I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.” – Blaise Pascal
In communication, simplicity requires you to move through complexity and come out the other end.It takes more skill and craft to communicate a complex idea in a simple, understandable way than it does to make it sound impressively complicated.
In this week’s episode we examine some of the ways complexity creeps into our lives. How can we give ourselves permission to keep things simple?
Over to You
What will you do this week to simplify something that complexity has stopped you making progress on lately? Please leave your response in the comments below.