“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” ~ Albert Einstein
I used to want to be a professional ball player, didn’t really care which sport, just wanted to play for a living. I still do. But as I got older, I began to want other things more attainable than professional athlete status.
I wanted to travel to Scotland with my father, for example. (Done.) I wanted to get a Ph.D. before my father completed his. (Done – and you still owe me a $100, dad.) I wanted to climb the 14ers in Colorado. (2 down, 52 more to go. Hey, it’s a start, especially considering I live 10 hours away from the closest peak.)
All of these were and are big goals for me. How did I get them to happen? How do I get other, bigger things to happen in the future? And, since you people likely really don’t care about my goals and prefer your own, how do you get your big goals to happen?
We’re not talking about little goals, like I’m-going-to-get-my-kitchen-drawers-cleaned goals. We’re talking the really good stuff. The scary-good stuff.
Repeat after me good people: “The way to scary-good is through stupid-small.” It sounds silly, but it’s true. Being silly also helps you from being afraid of it. Stupid-small is the way to go.
When my wife and I were at our lowest point together, we applied this idea without even knowing it.
We both knew we wanted something better, but it seemed so far off. So we started small. We cleared some things off our calendars, we went to counseling, we talked and spent time together.
We didn’t achieve a better marriage overnight, but we began the journey – and that’s the point. We did it – so can you.
Starting stupid-small is only the beginning. Here’s what you do next …
Focus on the pencil
In the 60s during the height of the space race between the US and Russia, a problem emerged that threatened to crush all the American dreams and put a stop to all the plans. In space, the normal means of writing would not work. And since space travel apparently is contingent on the ability to write while traveling, there would be no way to get off the ground with – the ball-point pen.
The story continues that after years of research an American company finally developed the zero gravity pen, thus solving the immediate problem and making space travel once again a realistic goal.
Meanwhile, the Russians faced the same problem, their solution?
Sometimes, technology and the world we live in tries to hurry us along when we’d be better off walking.
While this story is actually untrue – this urban myth is simply designed to make you understand this:
Most of the time, simple is better.
Often, a pencil is all you need to get by.
Usually, the problem you are facing doesn’t need a complex solution.
Relationships are the same. So is marriage.
By keeping things simple, you increase the likelihood of better. Let me say that again – by keeping things simple, you increase the likelihood of better.
As you launch into the process of building a better marriage, remember these two main ideas:
- Start stupid-small
- Keep it simple
If you apply these two thoughts to everything in your marriage and life from this point forward, things will be better.
Right now, I’m working on lining up an agent so when that professional franchise phones needing a shooting guard, wide receiver, left winger, or a left handed closer – I’ll be ready to begin the negotiations.
What’s your scary-good goal? What’s your first stupid-small step? And how do you plan on keeping it simple?