Complexity is the enemy of execution.
I was 25 and felt completely stuck in life. I'd slogged through law school, and now that I was on the other side, I knew I didn't want to spend the next 40 years working as an attorney.
My dream was to build my own tech company, but I had no idea how to get there. I'd set goals, write them down on paper, and after a few days I'd forget about them. This vision was too abstract and I didn't have a meaningful way to get there.
I was depressed. I was anxious. I had so much self doubt. It was overwhelming seeing everything that I'd need to do to make measurable progress towards my goal of starting a company. I was also financially devastated by law school loans and barely scraped by paycheck to paycheck. Back then I would download motivational audiobooks that I found on filesharing services. Most were just "ra ra pump yourself up stuff" but one day I made a life changing discovery when I stumbled upon something called Personal Power 2. This was a series of old cassette tapes that Tony Robbins made in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
I'd heard of Tony Robbins and always assumed he was one of the self-help snake oil salesmen, but I started listening with an open mind hungry for any advice that could get me out of this slump...
I devoured this content and started putting his teachings into practice. They started changing my life. I went through his full 30 day teaching series. Over the years, I've listened to more of his content and purchased some of his recent books. One quote that has always stood out to me:
"Complexity is the enemy of execution."
Until I internalized this belief, I'd always just been an ideas person. I'd start something but wouldn't finish it OR I just write down ideas that never saw the light of day. If you go back and read my post "Bailing Water," there was a definite inflection point in my life where I started taking massive action and seeing results.
There were two mental models I adopted and both were key to getting my life back in the direction I wanted:
- Just start. Don't over think it. Take action. Stop buying books, searching google, and trying to make some master plan. Realize that all of these things are a form of procrastination, and you'll never make progress until you start.
- "Emotion is created by Motion." This is another Tony Robbins quote. Get out of your seat, off the couch, and go on a walk. Force yourself to do something uncomfortable like hop in a freezing cold shower. As you take action and face discomfort, your emotions will change and you can harness these emotions to build momentum.
So what are you waiting for! Get started today. If you need more motivation, check out this post.