“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
“The WWII generation shares so many common values: duty, honor, country, personal responsibility and the marriage vow ” For better or for worse–it was the last generation in which, broadly speaking, marriage was a commitment and divorce was not an option”
― Tom Brokaw
“The most complicated skill is to be simple.” ―Dejan Stojanovic
“The Greatest Generation” by Tom Brokhaw, tells an accurate story. In this great book, Tom Brokaw goes out into America, to tell through the stories of individual men and women the story of a generation, America’s citizen heroes and heroines who came of age during the Great Depression and the Second World War and went on to build modern America. This generation was united not only by a common purpose, but also by common values–duty, honor, economy, courage, service, love of family and country, and, above all, responsibility for oneself. In this book, you will meet people whose everyday lives reveal how a generation persevered through war, and were trained by it, and then went on to create interesting and useful lives and the America we have today. In this book you’ll meet people like Charles Van Gorder, who set up during D-Day a MASH-like medical facility in the middle of the fighting, and then came home to create a clinic and hospital in his hometown. You’ll hear George Bush talk about how, as a Navy Air Corps combat pilot, one of his assignments was to read the mail of the enlisted men under him, to be sure no sensitive military information would be compromised. And so, Bush says, “I learned about life.” You’ll meet Trudy Elion, winner of the Nobel Prize in medicine, one of the many women in this book who found fulfilling careers in the changed society as a result of the war. You’ll meet Martha Putney, one of the first black women to serve in the newly formed WACs. And you’ll meet the members of the Romeo Club (Retired Old Men Eating Out), friends for life. Through these and other stories in The Greatest Generation, you’ll relive with ordinary men and women, military heroes, famous people of great achievement, and community leaders how these extraordinary times forged the values and provided the training that made a people and a nation great.
If there’s a common thread in the Great Generation, it’s having a common sense and a level-headed approach to life. While today, we obsess about finding ourselves, or the perfect mate, or our passion in life, your uncomplicated approach to life is refreshing. You didn’t go on a diet, you simply ate whole food; you didn’t exercise, you worked around the house; you didn’t obsess about your relationships, you just found a lady you loved and married her. You always looked sharp, but never fussed with fashion trends. You didn’t mull over which appliance better suited your personality and image, you just bought the machine that worked the best. You didn’t think about how to get things done, you just did them. So simple!
We humans are complex systems. Complexity bias is our tendency to look at something that is easy to understand, or look at it when we are in a state of confusion, and view it as having many parts that are difficult to understand.
We often find it easier to face a complex problem than a simple one.
A person who feels tired all the time might insist that their doctor check their iron levels while ignoring the fact that they are unambiguously sleep deprived. Someone experiencing financial difficulties may stress over the technicalities of their telephone bill while ignoring the large sums of money they spend on cocktails.
We worry more than we need to! Worry is the mother of a complicated life. The more we worry, the more problems don’t get resolved.
Many times, we aren’t even facing real problems, just issues we’ve concocted in our minds. Yet we still worry. Worrying robs us of our joy, steals our peace of mind, and ruins our lives.
A problem is no greater than the power you give it. The energy we spend on our problems can be energy well-spent on finding solutions.
My friends, life is not complicated. We are THE one who are complicated. When we stop doing the “worrying” things and start doing the right things, life is simple.
So starting today…
Stop doing immoral things simply because you can. – Start being honest with yourself and everyone else. Don’t cheat. Be faithful. Be kind. Do the right thing! It is a less complicated way to live. Integrity is the essence of everything successful. When you break the rules of integrity you invite serious complications into your life. Keep life simple and enjoyable by doing what you know in your heart is right.
Stop wasting time and money trying to acquire more of everything. – Start focusing on quality. High quality is worth more than any quantity, in possessions, friends and experiences. Truly ‘rich’ people need less to be happy. Live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one. Too many people buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have to impress people they don’t know. Do not spend to impress others. Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects. Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you. Read The Millionaire Next Door .
Stop Worrying about what others are doing, live your life.-Well, if you’re always worried about what someone is doing or how things will turn out, you’re trying to control them. Worrying will have zero impact on the outcome. Even if you’re worrying about the safety of someone or their well-being, you’re still ultimately trying to control the outcome. You’re trying to do something that, frankly, only God can do. You’ve just got to let it be.
Focus on one thing at a time. -You must focus on what you should be doing right now during the season you’re currently in.
Stop from trying to be perfect.– Everybody makes mistakes, and that is alright. Doing your best to be perfect all the time will increase your stress levels. Mistakes are a normal part of our existence, and they will teach you a lot. So accepting that you will never be completely flawless is a step in the right direction and will help you start enjoying every single day. Be happy that you are here in this moment and seize the day.
Stop spending time with negative people. – Start spending time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded. Relationships should help you, not hurt you. Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be. Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it. Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. When you free yourself of negative people, you free yourself to be YOU – and being YOU is the simplest way to live.
Stop Agreeing to everything.- Agreeing to everything even though you don’t feel like doing a particular task at the moment can complicate your life and lead to higher amounts of stress. After all, you are saying yes to things that will most certainly put more pressure on you. So learn how to say no and focus on your own work or hobbies. It is okay to be selfish and create the schedule you will actually enjoy and look forward to.
The key is to start small, right now. Work on uncomplicating just one thing today… or just one little part of one thing. That’s how Angel and I got from where we were to where we are, gradually, one day at a time.