Why Do We Make Our Lives More Complicated?

Lots of Stuff
That’s a lot of stuff…

Does it ever feel like you’re making things more complicated than they need to be?

Maybe it’s other people in your life. They’re just out there making things more complicated, more dramatic for seemingly no reason.

It can drive you crazy when you realize it.

Why do we do this?

Here are some good reasons:

  • Distraction
  • Familiarity
  • Energy

Sometimes the complexity of life can make for a good distraction. Especially if we’re dealing with something difficult.

It could also be familiar. Maybe much of our life has been spent in dramatic filled situations.

Or it could just be a way to feel alive. A way to exaggerate our own sense of importance.

Knowing these tendencies seems like a good first step to getting back to the simple things in life.

Have you ever thought about your childhood? Looking back on the simpler times?

I’m sure we’ve all done that.

So it seems we yearn for simpler times while also creating more difficult and complex times for ourselves in the present.

Here are some other ways that we overcomplicate our lives.

Unnecessary Steps

I was looking to boost the sales at GBW recently. I spoke with a sales expert. I learned a lot.

But one thing that’s been unique for us over the years is that a lot of prospects don’t need a phone call with us to buy our service.

It’s strange for many salespeople. They’re used to needing phone calls to close deals.

So this was suggested.

In the email conversations we started asking for phone calls.

Some calls would get setup. It seemed to slow the process. It seemed like we almost wasted time and actually lost potential clients because of it.

Finally, I stopped asking for calls again. If a client seemed ready in an email I’d move to the next step and ask them if they were ready to get started.

Things got back to normal. A quicker sales process.

The lesson there was that we can have a tendency to make processes more difficult than they need to be.

Our sales process doesn’t always need a phone call. If a client does ask for one we certainly do it. But we don’t force it when it’s not needed.

Now it’s got me thinking about¬†all the processes for our business. What else are we forcing that doesn’t need to be there?

Taking On Too Much

I see lots of folks in business struggling with this.

They have a need to be doing things.

Business. Work. Volunteering. Kids. Friends. Family.

It’s all great, but there’s a tipping point where you’re doing too much and each additional item on the list starts cutting into the quality for every other item.

If you’re already maxed out and you want to start volunteering it will probably bring everything else down. Work. Personal life. Everything.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do more. But each additional item comes with a cost.

The best way to approach new things is to look at what you’ll need to take away.

There’s a former business executive, Andrew Brandt, who would sit in on draft day. Scouts would talk about a player they want to draft. Andrew would ask the question, “If we draft this kid, who will we need to release?”

That was uncomfortable for scouts and GMs and coaches. But it’s a great question.

Next time you’re looking to add something to your life ask yourself:

If I do this what do I have to push out of my life to make room?


Bad things happen everyday to everybody.

It seems that successful people are able to parse through the information and figure out how to move forward. They do overreact or under react to situations. They simply see the event for what it is and they start looking for a solution. For a next step.

And that’s how it should be.

Not every situation is life and death.

Yes, losing a big client is challenging. But is it the end of the world?

Even if your business has to fold does that really leave you with no options?

Thankfully, the world we live in is full of opportunity. More than at any other time in human history.

Do your best to keep an even keel with things. Overreacting won’t bring anything positive.


We have tendencies to make our lives more complicated than they need to be. We saw the reasons in the intro and I shared a couple examples that I often see in my life.

And I’m no different. I’ve struggled with this during my life. But there are ways to simplify things. Usually that’s the best route to take. The simple solution is probably the best.

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