For some reason, humans have some gene that wants to make simple issues complex. Over complicating. Making something bigger than it is. Creating a mountain out of a molehill.
Take my niece, for example, she dropped out of high school and now 2 years later she decided she wants to go the college. There are many successful people who had a similar path, right? I decided to help her in this process, so we started to look for the best resources.
There are several free websites that offer GED instruction, and I really like the video lessons from the website Covcell.com because they’re so visual and come with many explanations. This worked pretty well we were making a progress until my niece started to have doubts about everything, her ability to learn, her future plans, books, and websites. She wanted to argue about everything!
Call it what you want, but there aren’t very many things that mess up situations in life more than making a problem or situation grow to disproportionately. Think of the last time you had an argument or disagreement with someone – did you find it escalate? Each side digging their heels in more?
I think we (all of us) have a tendency to read too much into things – we make assumptions and judgments and conclusions without having anything real to base them on. It seems that our brains don’t like to sit on issues for very long. It suits us better to make a snap decision, check the thought off of our mental list and move on.
The pressing emotional and physical needs get ‘checked off’ by the brain, regardless of the consequences.
It happens not only to my niece and her education problem, in business I see it too. Meetings and discussions ad-nausea for the sake of more meetings and discussions. The more time, effort, analysis are welded to decide to make decisions to make an end decision.
Over complicating can be insidious. It creeps up on you when you least expect it.
My niece was looking into financing for her education after she will get her GED diploma (she is almost ready and I believe she will get there). The structure, terms, and payment schedule were what we expected – however, when it came down to what study to finance the water got a little murky.
She started to analyze things more and more. She questioned her original plan; was it still valid? What about “X” or “Y” or “Z”? It seemed like her mind was playing tricks on her. She had lost sight of the overriding goal and intent of actions. She had over complicated a situation that, in its essence, was really quite simple.
Too much information can cause analysis paralysis – which she experienced. Fear and uncertainty can also cause us to make things much bigger than they really are – if we over complicate it, we can analyze it more and more and avoid making a decision.
Remember the KISS principle? Keep It Simple Stupid. The more we adhere to this the better off we will be – in all situations.