The fastest way to solve any problem

Solve Any Problem

Two years ago I was at a conference. I went there with the mindset that we (my husband and I) needed to create a recurring income stream for our business. My idea for this was to create a course people would pay $500 for. During a mastermind session at that conference, I laid out my course idea. Then, with the people on my table, I started to work out the logistics involved in creating a course people would actually pay $500 for, then marketing it, then delivering it. While we were debating the merits of my course idea, the moderator was sitting there with a funny look on his face.

‘Kelly, how much do you guys sell a website for?’


‘So … you can spend a lot of time and money creating this course. Then you have to find people to do the course in a very crowded marketplace. Then you have to deliver it. And administer it.

Each month you’ll need to sell 10 of these courses to bring in an additional $5000 in revenue … or you could just sell one more website.’

Drops mic.

“It is vain to do with more what can be done with fewer.”

These words have been credited to William of Occam, famous for ‘Occam’s Razor’ – a problem-solving principle that is best summed up as ‘The simplest answer is usually right.’

My brain does like to complicate things. (It’s a classic overthinker trait.) Over the past six months, however, I’ve been re-training said brain to look for the simplest solution to every problem. And I’ve gotta tell you – it’s been life-changing,

On the note of problems, I get a lot of emails from readers. I respond to every single one and always try to give a considered response that takes into account all the information they’ve given in their email. And there is usually a lot of information. I never want to sound dismissive or trite.

Yesterday, however, I tried a little exercise. I went through and answered some of the questions I’ve received over the years using the Occam’s Razor principle – drilling down to the true core of the problem rather than trying to take into account ‘all the things’. And I have to say, I’m quite pleased with the results. See what you think.

Why do I feel like I have to be the perfect mother, wife, friend, daughter, sister all the time?

You like setting high standards for yourself and get a huge buzz from the rare occasions you meet those standards. That huge buzz, however, doesn’t offset the ever-present stress and unhappiness that comes from consistently falling short of the ridiculous expectations you set for yourself. So, choose one area in your life to try and achieve ‘perfection’, and give yourself permission to be ‘good enough’ in all the other areas.

How do I successfully create a daily exercise routine?

Find an exercise you like doing. Do it every day. It’s easier to do something every day than to only do it some days.

I never finish the things I start. Where am I going wrong?

You don’t care as much about the things you’re starting as you think you do. Finishing something always involves pushing through some level of tension or discomfort. When you don’t really care about the ‘thing’, there is no motivation for you to push through the discomfort.

I hate the career path I’ve chosen and want to quit but I am afraid of what people will think.

To quote poet Erin Hanson:

You must teach your sense of self
To stand upon its own two feet,
Instead of propped up on the views
Of every person that you meet.

I want to start a blog, but I don’t know what to write about

Go here. Choose one. Write a blog post about it. Press publish.

Only your mum will read your blog when you first start. The opportunity to ‘write like no one’s reading’ is a golden one as it allows your voice to develop. Given your voice is what will set you apart from everyone else, you should embrace that opportunity.

In a recent podcast you talked about simply ‘fading out of people’s lives’ as a way to end a friendship that is no longer serving you. What if someone is doing that to me?

Let them fade. If someone doesn’t want to be your friend, why spend time trying to change their mind (futile) when you can put that energy into the people who do want to be your friends.

How do I stop all the chatter that goes in my brain?

You are not obliged to engage with every thought that enters your head. Most thoughts – you can allow them to just float right on by.

When it comes to eating well, I can do it for a couple of days, but then quickly fall into bad habits again.

Don’t have non-nutritious food in your house. If it’s not in the pantry or fridge, you can’t eat it. Set your environment up to facilitate success.

I’m at a crossroads in my life and don’t know whether to go left or right.

Stop trying to extract the maximum amount of possible life happiness from this decision. Chances are, both left and right will deliver a similar level of happiness and challenges. Chances also are, you know in your gut which way you want to go. Go that way.

Comments 21

  1. Do you know what? When I read all the answers to the questions above I feel like a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders! It’s not that I have been struggling with these problems (although some of them do hit home), but the clarity and simplicity of them is just so liberating! Usually there will be a 10-pt plan to deal with an issue, followed by a new item/plan/program that must be purchased for success – it’s so overwhelming! All of the advice is OVERWHELMING!! Finally some simple truths. Thank you xx

  2. I think those clear and simple answers promote action more than the longer ones that, like Leoni said, are more likely to envoke an ‘it’s all too hard’ reaction and end up in doing nothing. It all starts, and keeps going, with a small simple mindful steps. Your post reminds me of the Kellog’s Corn Flakes commercial….’The simple things in life are often the best.’ So true.

  3. What beautifully crafted responses. You really do achieve your aim to getting to the core. There is a certainty and a power in the answers that I’d find really comforting.
    You may have inadvertently created another issue – I want to email you for advice on all my problems!

    1. “There is a certainty and a power in the answers that I’d find really comforting.”

      That’s what I have found applying this method to my own situations!

      And email away with your problems. Now that I can give a short and sweet answer … I can answer more!

  4. Great post. Love it and some really useful points, thank you. I love that you take the time to respond to readers also. I try to do this also but would assume I don’t get quite as many emails! Keep up the great work as always. Always love to get your emails.

  5. a great post thankyou Kelly!
    you are wise and always give thoughtful, considered answers and information on every topic you write about!
    always happy to read your work!
    much love m:)X

    1. Post
  6. Kelly wise as usual.
    Love that you are a Perth girl.
    Love your take on introversion and the need to recharge.
    Listen to every word that you, Brooke, Carly and Alex record and it facilitates exploration of self, promotes change while nurturing a healthy self acceptance. Thank you.

  7. Most of these are good answers which cut right through the bullshit, but I’m afraid the food one really suffers from the oversimplification.

    Things I’d have hoped to see at minimum are:
    Is your idea of ‘eating well’ actually realistic, balanced, nutritious?
    Are you eating enough? By volume, you need to eat a lot more ‘healthy foods’ than ‘junk foods’ to get enough calories to fuel you for an active, productive day.

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