All of your success in life–and I do mean life, not just in business or in finances–depends upon your ability to distinguish that which is essential from that which is not.
For most of us, this isn’t an easy or a painless task. It’s sad, disappointing, and frustrating to turn our backs on seemingly endless potential and possibility; the zillion and one things we won’t ever become proficient in. The dollars we won’t earn, classes we won’t take, places we won’t travel, people we won’t befriend, skills we won’t hone. The cars we won’t drive, the cities in which we won’t reside. The ways we won’t fill a day, or even an hour. The curiosities we will never have time to explore.
We are leaving, and will forever leave, so much unknown, so much unexplored, so much unattempted.
This is the unrelenting restraint of reality.
In order to be efficient in our family lives, productive in our professional ones; in order to educate ourselves, to pursue a passion, to be, we must choose a very small few from such a great many.
There is nothing that so detrimentally disrupts one’s ability to be effective in any capacity than the inability to perceive and loyally pursue priorities.
For every infinity, you must choose a few.
Is this choosing optional? Yes, if you want to live a scattered, unfocused, anxiety-ridden, unsatisfying life of half-starts and perpetual wonderings about the versions of your life you aren’t living. If that sounds good, do believe you can do everything you ever consider doing. Do delude yourself into thinking you have time to attend to everything you wish you could. Do take on every passion project and commitment you conceive or that is brought to your attention.
The path to success, which is fulfillment through purposeful contribution and authenticity, is achieved only through wielding the axe of Simplicity.
Stop undermining your own decisions.
Start relying upon your intuition.
Stop wasting energy caring what other people think of your choices because you will die one day and won’t it be a shame if you’ve spent your one, precious life being nothing but unobjectionable in the eyes of others.
Steadfastly edit out all that does not matter most to you to pave the clearest, steadiest, route for the delicately few things that do.
The ones that feel for you like breathing. The people that feel like air. The work that feels like play. The words that feel like necessities.
As devastating as it is to accept, we cannot, we actually cannot do it all. We can do little excellently, unfailingly, and with our whole hearts.
Wield that axe of Simplicity with all the savagery you knowingly or unknowingly already possess.
Embrace your power to Simplify. Not because it will mean you’ll live a life free from challenges, but because it will mean spending your time solving the challenges you most care to solve.