To encourage mindfulness that supports your well-being while navigating our oh-so-complex world, I recently created Monday Morning Messages, hosted on Patreon.
This particular sparked Morning Message sparked an impassioned response from one of my Patrons. I had posted: “A future that supports the well-being of humanity will thrive with clarity and simplicity and fail with complexity and complication.”
How does that statement land with you? Well, my Patron (and friend) shared that her emotional response was “NO” – this time is complex and we shouldn’t ignore the complexities.
I agree with her.
We entered a dialogue and my smart friend quickly grasped my intent with this particular message. She recognized how she was allowing a whirlwind of ideas and thoughts to create complexity in her life that was getting in the way of her ability to focus, and to use innovation to move her business (in the COVID-rocked travel industry) forward.
She then raised the topic of when to embrace complexity? This launched us into an interesting and uplifting dialogue about using complexity as a catalyst for change – turning a negative into a positive!
Embracing complexity is an important stepping-stone to creating simplicity, and as my friend pointed out, shouldn’t be ignored.
A visual for you: Likely you’ve sorted the clothes in your closet or the files in your office. These can be seriously complex messes, right? What do you do? Create piles – keep this, toss that, sort – sort – sort. The entire process involves consideration, feeling, thinking, decisions, choices – all culminating in a lighter load that feels so much better (aka simplicity).
Here are a few of my ideas for unravelling complexity:
#1: Identify what is complex.
#2: Cultivate dialogue with the intention of not finding the answer (exploring, not solving…yet).
#3: Make an agreement with yourself, or with your team, to have an open mind.
#4: Adopt zero tolerance for polarized thinking and discuss what this type of thinking is and why it should be avoided.
#5: Consider the components that are creating complexity (perhaps use a Venn Diagram).
#6: Become a detective. What are the subtle nuances? How can you see the situation differently?
#7: Decide on one step for you, or your team, to embrace and just do it. That first step could be courageously admitting and recognizing that there is complexity – whether in your business, your life, or your relationships.
#8: Honor the process. Complexity is, well, complex. Something initially happened that created the situation. Likely unnoticed in the busyness of life, what was small began to grow like a snowball rolling down a hill. It may take time to cultivate simplicity.
What about those complexities that you have little control over…such as a worldwide pandemic? I offer up a tool I often share: Utilizing choice.
This time we are in now is challenging for most everyone. One tool we can all access, no matter what our situation, is choice. I recently watched (with tissue in hand) an interview on MarieTV with Dr. Edie Eger, survivor of the Holocaust and author of ‘The Gift: 12 Lessons to Save Your Life.’ Dr. Eger shared, “I had a choice then, as you have a choice now, whether you pay attention to what you lost or what is still there.”
Please remember that you always have the power of choice – choosing your thoughts, your conversations, your mood, your actions, how you spend your time, your media consumption, your next move, your next step, how you bring equilibrium into your day.
Pause, breathe, reflect. In your next moment, what do you choose and how can you simplify?
Ubuntu (I am because you are),
With gratitude to my friend and travel agent extraordinaire Sasha Charney for sparking the idea for this blog!