If you cannot explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

Albert Einstein

The most uncomfortable place for me to be is in confusion.

For others, discomfort can mean speaking in front of an audience, performing in front of others, or doing something that will make them vulnerable to rejection or failure.

For me, however, the most uncomfortable place to be in is confusion – I blame it on my astrological charts. I have the sign of Aquarius in more than one place. It explains why I chose to study for a big chunk of my life, and why I love talking philosophy. I think, constantly. I’m up in Mt. Olympus more often than not.

So to be confused about something, or to not have clarity around something – it drives me insane.

My biggest antidote to confusion, I’ve found, is one thing.

Whenever anxiety creeps into my life, or I begin to question my future, there’s always this one thing that’s served me well.

And I wonder…

when you begin to contemplate which decision to make next,

or whether the last decision you made was the right one

… if it will be the same one thing that’s brought me back to sanity that will bring you back to yours.

My path to clarity and sanity?

Always go back to simplicity.

In life, if you find any of the following four things present, simplicity will always be one step away, never quite within reach. So learn to identify these four things, and then ask yourself the question below.

  • Explanations
  • Justifications
  • Interpretations
  • Stories

For example, If you’re in the process of deciding which job offer to take, remove all four things; the explanations you have to give to someone to prove yourself, justifications for why you made that last move, interpretations and assumptions you had to make, and the stories you tell yourself about what it means to be living this life. Once you can remove all four things,

Ask yourself: what does this decision look like to the 10-year old version of myself?

If that version of you wouldn’t agree with the decision you’re about to make, take a step back and ask why.

You’ll find that once you remove the explanations, justifications, interpretations, and stories surrounding whatever is ailing you now, things will become pretty crystal clear.

Live with intention. Lead with intention.