Life coaches, gurus and spiritual leaders often exhort their students to “simplify.” To simplify one’s life doesn’t mean you have to do without. It doesn’t mean you have to give up your car and other modern conveniences, your lofty goals, or your dreams. On the contrary, you can achieve remarkable success and happiness in your life and achieve your goals by simplifying.
Let’s not confuse simplicity with not having goals. A life in which you have no goals, with no purpose or direction, doesn’t make you happy—but a life in which you achieve your goals simply, certainly will. Let’s talk about how we can achieve your goals and get results by using simple solutions.
In the 14th century, an Englishman named William of Occam came up with a wonderful piece of wisdom, which is now known as “Occam’s Razor”. Loosely translated, it says, “The simplest explanation is usually the correct one.” When you list your goals for the next year or three years, you’ll stare at that list for a while and wonder what to do next. In fact, a list of goals by itself won’t get you very far. You need a goal blueprint that includes details about each goal, and a strategy for goal achievement. Coming up with that strategy is the hard part—and it may involve getting input from a circle of trusted friends and advisers, doing some research, and seeing how other people have achieved the same result. More often than not, there will be more than one way to achieve the life of your dreams.
You can get to your desired outcomes through a complicated set of plans. But you’re likely too exhausted to enjoy it once you’ve gone through all the steps. Or, you can take the Occam’s Razor approach, and travel the simplest route to your destination. Not only does this approach work better, it contributes to a more balanced life.
I’ve spoken with enormously accomplished people about their success, and read extensively on this topic. I’ve noticed something very important—successful people don’t sweat the small stuff. Success is all about the mile-high strategy. For example, the most successful entrepreneurs come up with a single germ of a great idea, and then they let their engineers, marketing people, designers, and other staff take it from there. When the person on top tries to manage every single detail, the result is usually disastrous. Success is all about simplicity.
We often assume that success and balance are difficult. They can be – if one lacks the framework, attitude, skill and tools needed for success. But the first step is to believe that success is possible. Many people don’t: that’s why they never even try to achieve their goals and desires. They dream of owning a business, taking a year off to travel, getting healthy, achieving more balance or making an impact in the world—but the dream never becomes a reality because they believe they can’t do it, and they don’t understand how to set goals in a manner that will help them get there simply. Their default is to claim they don’t have the resources, the connections, or the knowledge to do it. Rarely true.
And there’s the secret I want to share with you. Success is actually a lot easier than you think it is. Keep your strategies for achieving your goals simple and easy to understand, don’t try to do everything yourself, and seek out help when you need it. Never assume that anything is too difficult to achieve, because it probably isn’t.
So, what’s it costing you not to have the success you desire with your health and wellness, relationships, career or business, finances, or spirituality? Think about it for a moment. The cost is likely tremendous for most people.