Norton: The fastest path to success is simplicity, so keep it simply simple (column) | VailDaily.com

Norton: The fastest path to success is simplicity, so keep it simply simple (column)

Michael Norton
Valley Voices

I don't know about you, but there have been so many times, too many times, where I have done things the hard way. Looking back, I can clearly see the path that would have been much simpler, so much easier, and so much more effective. Not only that, I could have accomplished everything better and even faster had I just accepted the guidance and assistance of others.

You already know the phrase, don't you? "Keep it simple, stupid." I like what one of our community readers, Robin, shared in an email regarding her one word for the year. Her word was KISS. She cleaned up the acronym by changing the phrase to, "Keep it simply simple." An awesome and elegant change that is so easy but so hard to grasp.

"There must be a harder way to do this." Have you ever, I mean ever, found yourself saying that? Me neither. It just doesn't happen. And yet we all seem to try to make it harder on ourselves than it really has to be.

Wouldn't it be great if we could find a way to keep things simple and still be successful? So how can we accelerate our success? We can accelerate our success when we can avoid the maze of complexity and instead jump on the road of simplicity. Easier said than done? Maybe — and then again, maybe not.

It really is our choice when we stop and think about it. We can choose to do things the way we have always done them because we don't want to ask for help or we are too proud to seek an easier or more simple and elegant solution. We can choose an attitude of openness to better ideas that can help us get done what we need to get done.

It really is like that old joke, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" How many people have given up hours trying to come up with a more challenging or difficult reason? It just can't be that simple, "To get to the other side." Why do people climb mountains? Because they are there. What roads do we need to cross right now in our own lives? What mountains do we need to climb? We may be procrastinating or planning or looking for the most difficult path when the answer is right in front of us: simplicity.

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When we meet with defeat, many times it is because we went down the path of over-complication, instead of avoiding the maze of complexity and jumping on the road of simplicity. We meet with defeat when we suffer from paralysis by analysis, overthinking everything and never taking action on anything.

Another friend and community reader, Tom, shared his one word for the year, and it was action. I love that word because sometimes the most simple and elegant way to accomplish anything is to simply take action.

So how about you? Are you stuck in a maze of complexity? Or have you already jumped on the road to simplicity? I really would love to hear your stories at goto norton@gmail.com. And when we can subscribe to KISS and then take action, it really will be a better-than-good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.