INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
Studies have confirmed that simplifying things in life makes human beings happier. And yet most of us have what behavioral psychologists call complexity bias – the belief that complex solutions are better than simple ones. To help you fight this bias and solve problems more simply, use Occam’s Razor (also known as the law of parsimony). You may know it by its common phrasing: “The simplest solution to a problem is usually the correct one.” Here’s the key – the law advocates solving a problem by first eliminating improbable options and then focusing on solutions that involve fewer assumptions. Simple theories are easier to verify. Simple solutions are easier to execute. It’s that simple. Try it next time you’re about to overthink what might not be so difficult a problem.
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake I’ve made)
I learned many years ago in my corporate life that it’s up to you to make any assignment a great one. My most formative job as a young manager was one where I had a terrible boss, with work I didn’t like doing. I felt, and acted like, a victim. “Oh, feel sorry for me, I’m stuck in this crappy role!” Until an older, much wiser, mentor yanked me aside and taught me something I’ll never forget. You will not love every job you ever do. But you can find something to love in every job you ever do. You can make it great by finding the hidden gems of personal development buried within, if you’re willing to open yourself up to it. And in the end, no one cares that you’re stuck in that job. They only care what you do with it
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
I’d like to share a simple sentence that I’m drawn to, over and over again, four words that serve as a code to live by. In an increasingly angry, complicated world, I keep returning to this mantra as a guide, something I can anchor myself to when so much else seems unsteady. I recently found this long-held wisdom printed on a t-shirt, which I quickly snapped up to serve as a visual aid for today’s issue:
That’s it. It’s not that complicated. How many of today’s problems would be solved or well down the path to solution if we all started from this place? I’d be remiss not to point out that not everyone has the same definition of what it means to be a good person. For example, here’s a New York Times article that has four experts defining it four different ways (can we agree on nothing?). For me, it simply means, show thoughtful consideration of others. Period. It’s such a basic, helpful reminder for me – I hope it’s of service to you.
What simple mantra is your guidepost in life? I’d love to hear from you.