Excerpts from:


Philip Holder Ph.D.
copyright 1998 – 2014


People will spend two, four, six, or eight years in college or trade school to learn a job skill. Most often, these same people spend virtually no time getting to know about themselves. This can be one source of great internal conflict. It is important in moving in a positive direction to know not only what we want out of life, but to know why we want it. Knowing why, gives us insight into our basic nature and will therefore help us to make better life decisions. The fact is, the decisions we make, more than any other single factor, governs the outcome of any individual’s life. One way to see ourselves more clearly and thereby to make better life decisions is to simplify our approach to life.

Einstein once said “Reduce everything to it’s simplest form but no further” (or something close to that). In life, we often seek complex answers to problems. If you seek complex answers, you will inadvertently complicate the problem as well. Seek simple answers to a problem, and the problem itself becomes simpler and less cumbersome. When someone tells me… “It’s not that simple”, it indicates immediately to me that he or she prefers to complicate the matter rather than to face the problem at hand. To solve a problem we must first own it. If we place the responsibility on others, then it is not ours to solve. To resolve issues, we must first own our responsibility for them. Then, like peeling away the layers of an onion, we remove the excess until we get to the heart. Once at the heart of an issue, more often than not, the answer is very simple.


Much of life is how we perceive it. Or you might say that our perception often becomes our reality. When faced with a problem, most people will ask “What else can I do, to solve this problem”. I have a suggestion. The next time you are faced with a problem, don’t ask what additional measures you can take to solve the problem. That will only further complicate the problem. Instead, ask what I can let go of ? Ask… What is really relevant to my goal? Then you will be able to focus on the truly meaningful aspects of the situation. View your actions as if you were pealing away the layers of an onion to get to the heart, because that is exactly what you need to do… Get to the heart of a problem. Once simplified, and recognized, any problem will be easier to resolve.

Our society seems to glorify complexity. This leads to stress and confusion. It is the simplification of our lives that will lead to a clear picture of our true needs and values and thereby lead to happiness. Happiness comes from within.

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