OC Emberton

We complicate to avoid

Our brains are so clever they often outsmart themselves.

Have you ever seen an unhealthy person failing to get fit? They’ll buy a copy of Runner’s World, scout gyms, debate diets and do just about every damn thing except exercise and eat properly.

Or take someone who forever dreams of starting their own business. They’ll read books, chase mentors and follow Richard Branson on Twitter. Anything except actually start a business.

When a brain is trapped between two negatives – doing nothing, and doing something painful – it invents clever ways to stay busy doing nothing. And one of the most common tricks is to complicate things.

Our excuses are almost always complicated. (That’s why we call them complications). Being complicated gives an excuse the illusion of legitimacy – as if all your life is just a math problem you’re desperately close to solving. Most often, people talk and think and read about their biggest problems all the time and never do anything about them.

We all do this. It’s only easy to see in others.

The solutions that get you started are painfully simple. Put on some trainers and run. Build a product and sell it to one person. All the complicated stuff can come later when you’re doing your marathon or hiring your 10th employee.

If your reasons are complicated, they’re almost certainly excuses.

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