Midweek Nudge #63

“Simplify, simplify.”

— Henry David Thoreau

Hi there!

Here’s your gentle nudge to make your week more interesting, thoughtful and productive. You can always talk to me more about these ideas by replying to this email.

When Things Go South, Step Back

Often when things start to go wrong with life, a product we’re working on or anything else, we begin to find the cause for it. More often than not, we find something we did or something that happened right before the problems arose. However, often, that is a symptom and not the cause itself. Alas, we think we’ve figured it all out, and we fix it.

Then, the issue arises again. Something else breaks. Whatever happens, our fix seems to be a temporary solution. The problem here is that we don’t focus on the root cause of the problem. When things go wrong, start taking a step back and keep going until you can see the real “why”. This thought process is also the mental model of thinking in proximate and root causes. 

For example, instead of patching a pipe system over and over again, there is a benefit in trying to measure the pressure of the water flowing in the pipes. Instead of continually deploying hotfixes on your code, there is merit in finding which module causes the issues and rewriting it altogether. If your life is constantly astray, there may be a pattern you’re ignoring.

When things go south, become the kid who keeps throwing a “why” over every answer they get. When in doubt, keep taking a step back until you see it all.

What’s On My Mind?

The fact that the answer to most questions lies in the basics. The right habits often solve the most complex problems in life. The best changes you can make in a system are when you design things from scratch. There’s more to the basics in anything than just serving as a rite of passage to the complexities. Most complexities are simplified if you have the basics right. Most questions are answered by them too.

I hope this added some value to your week. Stay safe, stay inspired, and I’ll talk to you next week.


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