Complication Consternation

The ONE ThingI’m going to be honest with you, my friends – I mostly like the title of this blog post because of the alliteration. I can’t lie about that – I think alliteration is becoming one of my favorite things for no apparent reason. Somehow it just feels good rolling around in my brain. I felt the need to get that little gem out of the way before getting down to the business at hand of today’s post.

My last post on dinner with my Mom has been part of my overall thinking on how to get less complicated about life in general. It’s a trend for me the last few years and my success rate with it, while not perfect, is improving. Part of the reason I feel I am getting some traction on un-complicating things for myself is that I see people making things far too complicated, seemingly every day. The oft-quoted notion of analysis paralysis is prevalent everywhere I look.

I don’t think that’s surprising – life itself can throw a lot of variables at us and there are many things we cannot control. By delving deeply into everything in a non-stop fashion, perhaps we feel there is a certain level of control that returns… or at least that we improve our chances of getting things right. Whatever that means.

I am trying to detach from that way of thinking as best I can. Now, I surely enjoy reflecting and thinking, so I don’t want it to seem as if I only believe in all action, all the time. Perish the thought. Instead, I am against using over-analysis as a replacement for taking some damn action once in a while. The analysis paralysis problem is that it seems to get to an idea that if we just spend a little bit more time wrestling with the problem, gathering more data and re-framing the argument for the hundredth time, we will achieve perfection.

Since I believe the perfect is the enemy of the good, I don’t worry much about perfection.

This is a big part of why I am so thoroughly enjoying a book by Gary Keller, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. I could spend many hours describing it, the methods of Keller’s system and such, but suffice it to say, it really is about… well… one thing: creating success by winnowing down the focus of your energy and talents to the one thing that will either make things easier or every other action unnecessary.

Kind of bold, right?

But Keller’s point is compelling in that we often believe success is about adding more or doing more when often, it’s about focusing more and saying no more. Like, A LOT more – something I need to work on as a consummate people-pleaser.

So today I took up his advice to focus on something that is a big thing to me (this blog), did it at a high energy time (first thing this AM) and have creating this little morsel of goodness for your consumption. My hope is that it’s a tasty one, but that is yours to judge and not mine… especially since I think all of my stuff is worth a nibble or two.

With that, I leave you with a question: What would be the one thing you would focus on today to make things easier for yourself? That thing that you would protect and not let time thieves pilfer from your day?

38 Years. 364 Days.

2011-11-13 17.18.42

I spent some time with my family today to do a little birthday celebration for me one day early.  The work week always tends to bring on a lot more mayhem that I would really like, so today was optimal for everyone.  I’m sure someone just read that previous sentence and thought, “Who in the world likes mayhem?”  Actually, I do… sometimes.  24/7 mayhem is not my cup of Earl Grey, but a little bit of randomness and something to keep me on my toes?  I’ll take some of that on occasion.  Helps me stay a little fresh.

It was a little strange to think about being 1 year and 1 day shy of 40 years old and even weirder for me to think I’ve lived in 5 different decades.  Some may think that by virtue of age, they are qualified to sit back and expound all sorts of wisdom to the masses.  Hmm.  I’m always a little suspect of that since time has the potential to bring some wisdom, it’s not a guarantee.  And you certainly know the guy/gal who feels it is their place… no, their sacred duty to share the pearls of wisdom they’ve gleaned throughout their life… and yet they have about as much of Solomon’s wisdom as a piece of stale rye toast.

And that made me think a bit about this very blog.  No, seriously.

I hope I do a little bit of good with this blog (which is sorely in need of more posts), but as I drove home from my birthday feasting, I wondered, “What is it that brings people to my site in the first place?”  Some of you are family or good personal friends, but I also know there are people out there I have never met before who come here too… and frankly, I would love to get a lot more of you to show up on this little cyber parcel.

In this kind of reflection, it can be truly easy for me to lump myself and my blog away as trivial.  There are plenty of bloggers out there writing on how to improve your life or lift weights or reflecting on what it means to be human.  If I were to look at that vast sea of writers without any context, it would be incredibly easy for me to throw my hands in the air and never write again.

But I do keep writing for a pretty simple reason: none of those people are me.

That’s not a cocky statement to imply “None of those people are me… and damn it, there’s no way in hell any of them are nearly as FREAKING AWESOME as me!  YEAH!”  Perish the thought.

Rather, none of those people are me, hence none of them can bring my perspective and I actually think I have something to share in that regard.  So share it I will.

Plus, now that I’ve begun this writing, I’m not sure I can stop… and I really wouldn’t want to.  I’m a person who is keenly driven by purpose.  When I feel I lack purpose in any part of my life, that area will suffer, guaranteed.  If I see some action as fitting into a bigger plan or a grander scheme or just something bigger than me, then giving it my all is never work and it’s a pure pleasure.  That’s where I find my meaning, my mojo and my moments.  And my alliteration.  Clearly.

So as the page drops off the calendar and I officially drop onto the 39th anniversary of my day of birth, I thank anyone who reads these words… for my purpose is not just to explore all of this for my own sake, but to truly hope that you get something out of this too.

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