Hello 2018

An A-Z reflection on what I learned in 2017
Day 1/26: Don’t try to simplify everything

Do you have New-Years Resolutions? I have one:

To look back, to look beyond.

Last year, I left my job, became self-employed, read 75+ books as well as countless articles, and on top of that, I wrote the first (shitty) draft of a book I plan to publish in 2019.

I laughed, I cried, I loved.

During all these little and big moments, what did I learn? Which insights will be my companions stepping in 2018?

Every reflection deepens our learning process. That’s why I’ve decided to spend 26 days on looking back and take a single word as my starting point for my A-Z reflection.

Warning: my way of learning isn’t clear-cut. I was once told that a woman’s brain doesn’t contain boxes; it contains wires, wires, and even more wires. There was a time when I tried hard to untangle them, I no longer do. I’ve learned to follow their turns and twists and let them lead me to what I believe to be true.

The first word I’ve chosen is:

When I started to blog in 2015, I put myself through a Magical Test of Seven. One part of this test was to come up with seven words of who I wanted to be. The first word on that list was Aboveboard; honest, open, fair and frank. It stems from the difficulty of cheating at cards when the hands are above the table.
I was reminded of this word when I read the book Principles: Life and Work from Ray Dalio. In his book, he describes his philosophy of “radical honesty and radical transparency.” He created an intriguing company where everyone is expected and required to speak their mind as well as reflect upon their position compared to the aggregate of all other opinions.

We all benefit from the clarity that comes from unconcealed and forthright communication, even when that includes learning things, we might not enjoy learning. Isn’t it this kind of learning, that we learn from most?

He poses a great question to keep asking oneself:

How do I know I am right?

The book contains 200+ principles which are well articulated, enlightening, and even when I don’t agree with every single of them, I’d estimate 90% to be relevant to pretty much anyone. It is one of the most impressive pieces of work I’ve come across.

Paradoxically, the most important learning I gained from this extraordinary book isn’t something that is written in the book itself:

Complexity has as much, if not more, potency, beauty, and depth as simplicity.

Simplicity has its purpose, there is no doubt about that, but it also bears the risk of merely scratching the surface. Certain things only get clearer by allowing for more rather than less. Don’t let overwhelm scare you away; drudge through it, for what lies behind it, can‘t be found anywhere else.

My take away for 2018: Make room for both.

If my chaotic crocket thinking does not scare you, I’d love to welcome you to follow the rest of my A-Z review and if there’s anything that springs your mind, you’d warm my heart, if you leave a comment. Thank you ❤︎ and happy New Year! 🍀