How many of you have had that feeling that your head’s about to explode? When life’s just too messy, and it starts to get on top of you. If you have a family then you definitely know what I mean, but it’s probably just a symptom of your adult life however that looks.
Complicated vs Clarity
Grown up life is complicated. It’s full of things that you have to do, places that you have to be, people that you have to see, and in between all of that there’s also the things that you want to do as well. In order to fit all of that in to your hectic schedule you try your best, you keep you head down, and you just try and get through it. But what happens when it all gets too complicated? I know what I do, I have to take myself away somewhere and get my head straight. I try to take a step back from the situation and reassess it all. But you can’t keep doing this?
Most of us are only reacting to the external situations that develop around us. We bounce from one to the other hoping that we’re holding it all together and then usually fail fantastically, and publicly. We seek a clarity to our complicated lives that will enable us to find ourselves again, and remind us of our purpose.
Imagine you’re swimming across a calm lake towards an island in the middle. You’re swimming elegantly as you glide through the water, and it creates the picture of serenity. But all of a sudden you forget how to swim and you start thrashing about just trying to keep your head above water. The water has become complicated and instead of the clarity that was held in your mind before, this has now been replaced with a much more primal survival instinct. The best you can do is glance at the island in between gulps of air and keep in check where you are in relation to it. Clarity is what we need in order to get to the island, but if we stop thrashing then we’ll sink.
The Secret to Clarity
There is, however, an arch enemy of ‘complicated’, and it’s called ‘simplicity’. When everything has become too complicated it’s a signal to simplify again. Analyse what’s important in your life and spend your time concentrating on those things, and re-prioritise everything else. Learn to minimalise your life, and take away the clutter that distracts your attention from the important things. Leo Babuta at Zen Habits has written exhaustively about this topic and he has some great advice on his blog. If you start to only concentrate on a handful of important tasks each day, then you will achieve each one to the best of your ability and you will remain clear on where you are heading. Success breeds more success, and eventually you will have momentum on your side.
I’d like to hear of any success stories that you’ve had in this area, or challenges that you can’t seem to simplify.