🤷 Why We Make Things More Complicated Than They Are

After all, there are various things that stand in our way on the path to greater success and fulfillment. One of them is the tendency to make things more complicated than they are.

Now, don't tell me that this doesn't affect you. I bet that if I were to observe you, we would identify various things that you are making more complicated than they need to be.

To get to the root of the matter, I share below:

  • three main causes,
  • then the main effects (i.e., how you recognize unnecessary complicatedness), and
  • three steps you should take to make the complicated simple.

Let's get started with the three most important reasons:

  • Feeling of power. Of course, when things are complicated, not everyone can understand them. But if you're the one who has some perspective, it gives you a sense of power. Entire professions are riddled with complicated language, partly for this very reason (lawyers, doctors, etc.).
  • Sense of security. Paradoxically, it can feel safer when things are complicated than when things are simple. This is because mistakes and vulnerabilities are more likely to go undetected than when everything is obvious.
  • Feeling of "busyness". Sure, when things are complicated, it's easier to be busy. And that feels good to most. Simplicity gives us more freedom. That's basically what most people don't want.

Let's now take a look at what the consequences of this are.

These consequences are also the symptoms by which we can recognize unnecessary complicatedness. Here are three of them:

  • Over-analysis. Who hasn't experienced this? Instead of deciding, we prefer to analyze again. This usually does not make the decision better, but more complicated. So, if you see that another round is taken because one is "not sure", this is an indication of unnecessary complicatedness.
  • Focus on unimportant things. Instead of focusing on what's really important, people talk about side issues that don't really matter. This is a symptom of making things unnecessarily complicated.
  • Frustration. When people get frustrated because you "can't figure it out anyway," that's a strong symptom of making things unnecessarily complicated. Because most things are not as complicated as they seem. And that is what frustrates people.

So, now you may be saying to yourself: "All well and good, but what can I do in concrete terms to make complicated things simple, or simple things not unnecessarily complicated?

I'm glad you asked. Here are three steps to do just that:

  1. Create clarity about results.

    It sounds very simple, but is often forgotten: Create complete clarity about what you want to achieve. Because then it is "only" about the most effective steps to get there.

    Instead, many discuss the steps in all detail without the goal being really clear to everyone. This then quickly becomes very complicated, since you can take an infinite number of paths, starting from the current state.

  2. Moving ahead.

    Often it becomes extremely complicated when we try to think in detail several steps ahead. The uncertainties increase exponentially.

    Instead, it is usually much better and easier to take the first steps and then look further. Because at the new point you see completely different things again.

    This line of thinking is also followed in "rapid prototyping", because otherwise it takes far too long and is unnecessarily complicated to bring new products to market.

  3. Apply Occam's Razor.

    Occam's Razor essentially says that given multiple alternatives, the least complicated one should be preferred. This is because it carries the least amount of uncertain influence.

    So always ask yourself which is the simplest alternative in the current situation, whether it is to solve a problem, fix a disruption, launch a strategic initiative, achieve a vision, etc.

    And then choose exactly that path.


So, here you have some thoughts and suggestions on how to make the world around you simpler instead of more complicated. The effect: more success, less frustration and greater momentum.


➡️ Next steps:

Whenever you're ready, check out my ➔ coaching programs and set up ➔ a 15min appointment here to get to know each other.





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