Simplifying Complexity

The best way to simplify your life is to invest your valuable time in what is important to do – and that must be to focus your attention on those tasks that in turn maximize the returning value of the time and energy you have invested. To be distracted and persuaded to be swamped in minutiae and complexity is missing the point of employing our life-force effectively. Better to invest such life-force in the smaller percentage of those things relevant to the success of your business, that bring reward for doing what you are good at; than to address the larger percentage that provide little in return and dissipate your life-force.

‘I have discovered that despite knowing that doing things of importance delivers value to me, the harsh reality is that I rarely have time to attend to them,’ said a visiting merchant to Yen Tzu. ‘Indeed it seems that every time I start to apply myself to such things someone or something outside of my control is determined to swamp me in minutiae.’

‘In truth business has an inclination to value complexity over the simple elements,’ replied Yen Tzu. ‘It is as though we need to be doing hundreds of things to feel busy, because we have been falsely indoctrinated that being busy is what business is about, and therefore unwittingly allow ourselves to be distracted from focusing our time on what we should be doing. Let me share a tale my friend, The Sage Yang-Chu recounted to me...

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