It’s probably simpler

I have probably written about this before — at least in some capacity — but that’s because the concept is a self-fulfilling loop. At least in my life. I tend to consistently overestimate how complicated things are. Pretty much always. Neurosis wins out. I default to logic brain. I get stuck in the cognitive windmill. When the answer. The satisfactory answer — the one that does not satisfy me — is generally situated right in front of me.

For some odd reason or another — I cannot seem to see it clearly or accept it clearly but I have surely thought through it.

My brain builds the repository of answers rather quickly. I get to a sufficient requisite variety. And then, well, and then I suffer from a wanting to have more confidence in my answer. I want more complicated. I want more complex. I confuse that with correctness or precision.

I for some reason rarely accept the simple obvious answer, even though the simple obvious answer is generally the most useful one.

You can find more decimal places. But to what end. To motion’s end. To false progress. But do I really care about that? Will I really ever remember that?

I feel like the answer to that is no. I know the answer to that is no.

But details?! My holy details. My brain loves the details. My brain wants complicated. It wants to feel important and sophisticated. It creates the whitespace quickly. It wants things to feel hard in some way before it feels easy.

But the way to get a six pack…is not to sign up for some crazy workout routine. It’s just to eat healthy and run and do basic lifts.

People want something more complicated. They want something that satisfies the complexity complex.

They apply this to empathy as well. They come up with these elaborate stories trying to figure out what’s going on in other people’s heads. I do this, too.

Why haven’t they responded yet? I ask myself this question. I am sure you have too. Or at least I would think. And then my brain rather quickly creates a grid of all the options and then tries to reason out the most likely. Reality though is that the simplest answer is probably most accurate — they were probably just busy. They probably didn’t prioritize this.

I read this in a Dostoyevsky book — something about how we tend to overestimate the complexity of our enemies. I think that’s true. We are giving them too much credit. I think the default is that most people are less complicated than we think. I have written before and I will say again that we could should just model people more like we model dogs. They just want to stay alive. They just want to protect themselves, which includes protecting their bodies and their minds (their egos, etc. etc.).

Does this mean it is a waste of time to come up with the array of possible scenarios before choosing the simplest? Probably sometimes. Can I stop myself entirely from doing that in my heads? Probably not.

But can I be better at selecting the simple answer and actually accepting it? 100%. That’s something I am working on. Just going with simple and moving on. Not wasting brain space trying to work harder than the other party on something that they are probably not really caring about very much.

I am not sure if this applies to you. You may be on the other end of things. Lots of people are. They just care not very much. I am the opposite. I care too much. Way too much.

SIMPLIFY is the focus for me right now. Easier said than done — but I think it’s where I am headed.


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