Complexity Anxiety | In-Between the Pages

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Simplify to Win (Image: Shawn Ward)
“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs
Here we are together. 31 days into our New Year’s Resolutions. Where do you stand? Many of us tomorrow will be dumping our resolutions. Sometimes for more important things. That is all fine.
 
Still there will be 9.2% of us that wish to continue with the challenge of our resolutions. That’s what this post is about. I want to keep you going.
 
There is a certain amount of anxiety involved with wondering if you can keep a pace. Especially one that is hard and has left it’s mark of exhaustion on you. To keep the pace we can compound our work by making it more complex. Added unnecessary complexity is the root of our anxiety. For whatever reason we need to change it, add to it, evolve it, and make it more complex than we need to.
 
Goals can and should be simple. Setting a SMART (i.e. specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound) goal is to complex. That’s five lenses to take your goals through and exhausting. It can be simpler. Below are three elements that most books, talks, and chats I’ve had with leaders is in the DNA of their goals.
 
The first and most simple step is to write it down. It starts with accountability with yourself. Writing it down forces you to consider is this something you want to sign up for? Writing it down is your signature of consent and accountability with yourself. I knew if I was ever going to run a marathon, I needed to sign up. Talking about it and wanting to do it is not a goal. Write it down.
 
The second is to share it. This should be vetted before blasting your goal to your favorite social media outlet. Who you share it to is your accountability team. Here is what I mean about that. You want to share your goal with someone. You do not want that person who will tell you what you think you want to hear. You want a person who will tell you what you NEED to hear. You want a coach, not sugar coated niceties. They will be the inspiration you need because they’ve done the work you are starting to do. They get what it takes. Choosing to share with someone that doesn’t push your limits won’t help you. Cheerleaders are great and they serve a purpose. Yet, you need a coach barking at you from the sidelines telling you, you can play harder.
 
The third and final element is finding your team within your team. There are others like you that have the common struggle in front of them, the same goal. You are not alone in this universe. The struggle is real for others too. Find those people. Build a community around those like minded people. Make regular deposits of learns with that group . There is incredible inspiration, power, and energy in community. Somehow, I usually find a little bit more in me in my last mile. Coming into the finish line something clicks in and I get that personal best. Why? Because there are not only people cheering around me, my pacer and run group around me is pushing too. That group share of energy to finish strong is transferable. It feeds me to dig deep. Almost a hive like state, a flow of energy not my own becomes mine. You will need that shared energy to get you there and beyond.
 
Write your goal out, share it with someone, and find your team within your team. It works. It is scalable when going after the smallest goals or the biggest. And, it can move mountains.
 
Would you believe me if I told you it is that simple? It is. I have 43 years of experience. It took me until this past decade to figure out the power in the simplicity of those three simple steps. It could be even simpler than that. I’ll leave that part up to you to help figure out and share.
 
Thanks for reading. Have a great start to your week!
 
Shawn

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