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How to Keep it Simple (GWTW243)

In a complex world or system, how do you keep it simple? This is the question I’ve been pondering for a couple of weeks, both in my own reflection and in conversations with others. Is there more value in complexity or is it just an opportunity to “justify your profession” as Nassim Taleb writes in Antifragile? Does the fact that I have so many questions take me away from simplicity and lead me down the path of complexity and sophistication? This is what I’m tackling in today’s episode of Getting Work To Work.

“…simplicity has been difficult to implement in modern life because it is against the spirit of a certain brand of people who seek sophistication so they can justify their profession…. But simplicity is not so simple to attain.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

“The wrong people always look so right to me. And when you’ve got a lot of people and they’re all ‘good,’ it’s hard to make distinctions, the easiest thing is to pick the really bad person. And I always go after the easiest thing, because if it’s the easiest, for me it’s usually the best.” – Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)

“The biggest mistake you can make is to accept the norms of your time.” – Neil Strauss to Tim Ferriss, Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers

“Don’t force it.” – Justin Boreta to Tim Ferris, Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers

4 ways to strip complexity away and keep it simple:

  1. Assume that there will always be a layer of complexity you need to eliminate.
  2. Simplicity is about personal responsibility in a complicated system.
  3. What is simple to you will not be simple to someone else.
  4. Go above and beyond what is expected.

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