With friends the other night, I heard about the complexity that has crept into their businesses. Over the past few months, I have struggled trying to figure out the best format for my to do list. From others I hear about their lack of time, money, or opportunities to get ahead. Difficult situations constantly are heard from afar.
Articles, blogs, books, & podcasts all have topics to deal with these complexities. How to think about them differently. What magically works. Meditation, sleep, or healthy eating are all ways to reclaim ourselves within our busy worlds. Yet we still remain stuck.
What’s bothersome about all this is what’s missing in these conversations. What is the most complicated thing in our lives? Simply, sadly, and with hope I would answer “we are”.
We never view ourselves as having any complexity.
When I hear of complexity, it usually revolves around having a lot of demands thrown at us all at the same time. Where one answer precludes choosing the solution for a different demand. Or when there just are too many things to think about to get to a satisfactory solution to break through the complexity of an issue or situation.
We view complexity as always being a characteristic of outside issues or situations. With us having little to do with controlling it. Yes, sometimes we let time pass, to find a resolution. Other times, we aggressively approach with little success. Emotion, ego, incomplete information, biases, lack of perspective, discipline or knowledge, and so on, are all aspects of the complexity that we as humans create for ourselves in our lives. For they always distort and weaken our ability to see clearly and objectively reason. Our own complexity is a much greater challenge than outside complexity because we can never see it within our day.
What question should we be asking ourselves?
We know what a hammer or a screwdriver is used for. The same is true when considering an estate lawyer or a cardiologist. Each of these tools or professions have specific characteristics or skills to complete specific tasks. For our own life, there are no classifications. We believe lots of things are possible. Our day is filled with interruptions, demands and responsibilities that are varied between home, family and work. We work so hard to just survive. What might help?
Ask yourself the question “Where do I fit in?”. Fit in where? Within your life. Between your dreams and realities. You wants and needs. Your age and responsibilities. Between your goals and resources. Where you can achieve balance, some success and be happy.
It’s only after you figure out where you fit in, by knowing who you are, can you begin to simplify your life by first starting with yourself. Beginning to understand what you can’t or don’t want to do. When it’s important to say no instead of yes. What you enjoy doing and have the patience to achieve. And where to focus.
Where do I fit in will help you determine if your lifetime goals are achievable given who you are. You can then begin to reduce some of the outward complexity by saying no to certain options that won’t fit who you are or what you are capable of doing. Your to do lists become simpler because there is not as much on them. Only the things that fit in to who you are and the life you create for yourself remain.
Without telling you this, tactics such as meditation and sleep attempt to silence your internal, human complexity for a brief time so that you can rest and reflect. Leaving your primary emotions and ego behind so that you can see past the clutter you fondly call “me” to be more present in your daily life. Allowing us to better see the hope within us, to create more better days with time.