July 12, 2020

Power of Simplicity

The plan was set.

The target - robbing the Royal Mail train heading from Glasgow to London carrying over 2.6 million pounds.

One of the critical steps in the plan was to rig the main traffic signal as well as the door signal so that Bruce Reynolds and his gang could halt the train at the perfect spot, rob and quickly escape.

Bruce Reynolds hired Roger Cordrey - a compulsive gambler and a thief for the job.

Because the door signal and the main traffic signal were quite far apart, Roger had to teach Bruce how to rig the door signal so that one of his men could handle it on the night of the robbery.

In the TV mini series - 'The Great Train Robbery' based on a true crime drama, Roger shows Bruce how to activate the amber light of the door signal by connecting the batteries to the bulb.

Bruce checks the amber light and says, "Got it, but the green light is still on."

Roger replies, "Of course, it is, that's the real signal"

Bruce asks, "So how do we knock it off?"

Roger takes out a black glove from his bag and slides it past the bulb to block the green light.

Bruce Reynolds gives a surprised look and says in disbelief, "Well, that's it? a light bulb and a black glove?"

Roger casually replies, "Yeah"

Possibly thinking about the hefty sum of money he had to pay Roger for this simple gig, Bruce protests, "I thought it was going to be all technical... it's just common sense Roger... anyone could have thought of that"

Roger smiles and replies, "But they didn't, did they. I did. Anyone can be complicated. Simplicity - that's hard."

Roger Cordrey may have been a thief but his words are true.

Often in life, we don't appreciate simplicity - in fact, we look down upon it, sweep it under the rug and dismiss it nonchalantly because it lacks mystery and intrigue.

We love hunting for hacks, learning the insider secrets and chasing the magic pill and in the process we become our own worst enemy.

Think about it.

We all know if we start putting aside a little money especially when we are young and continue to do that over the years, we can greatly improve our finances - thanks to the power of compound interest.

Yet almost no one does this.

Why? Because it's too simple.

We would rather prefer to wait till we are 40 or 50 before thinking about our finances and retirement and at that point we can learn about financial hacks and shortcuts to building wealth.

Afterall, didn't Warren Buffet earn 99.7% of his wealth after he turned 52?

This mindset is not just limited to finance, but across all domains in life.

When it comes to losing weight,

We are fascinated by the latest fad diet in the market and are willing to shell out hundreds of dollars with the hope of losing weight fast but scoff at the idea of daily walking or moderate exercise and eating healthy.

Similarly in relationships,

We become fascinated by the emotionally unavailable man or woman who is not into us despite knowing that for a healthy relationship we need two committed and fully present individuals to make the relationship work.

Instead of understanding why we struggle to accept healthy relationships, we are desperate to learn the psychological secrets to make any man/woman love us even though he/she is not into us.

How about the desire to build a successful blog,

Instead of dedicating time and creating a habit of writing a blog post every day, we spend time and money on shortcuts and tricks to learn how to write that special blog post that will become viral and attract tens of thousands of visitors to our blog even though the possibility of that happening is slim to none.

So the next time you dismiss the simplicity of any advice or action step you can take to change your life, remember this quote:

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo Da Vinci

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