When we are offered 50 ways to do something, 33 places, 25 tips, 17 reasons, 8 brilliant hacks, 5 new ideas…
Just pick one. Without digesting the entire list. Without analyzing or overloading our choice. Just land on one, absorb the one, and go with it.
I advise myself not to even read the the entire mind-drowning list even though someone probably spent an exorbitant amount of time writing it. Too many choices, even good ones, will paralyze the brain and dilute inspiration. One choice at a time. One decision at a time. One miracle/dud at a time is all we really need to require of ourselves.
These lists are popular right now, so I understand my stance is likely to be unpopular. Gifted, well-meaning writers fill my blog feed every day with lists of tips and helps and solutions but I am better served by mindfully considering only one. It’s not that I don’t want to learn something new (or learn in a new way); it’s that learning is crippled when the brain dismisses the good stuff embedded in too much volume just to make it to the end of the list. After 10 of 50, it’s already too much and I know I’ve still got 40 to go. I’m a writer. My attention span is not an issue. Belaboring a helpful post to fill white space, a post quota, or satisfy a word count is an issue.
Present me with one of these over-filled lists and I will open the article, see the scroll of the list without reading it all, allow my eyes to land on one, read it with interest and full attention, and then close the article. An article with 50 points to make probably isn’t making any of them very well, even if the information is offered by an expert.
Respect to the authors but stop it with these cluttery lists. Stop forcing me to shop. Worse, stop pressurizing good intentions with the implication that things/life needs to be 50 kinds of different every other week. Give me your best idea and stop publishing the filler. If you’ve got more than one divine nugget of wisdom to share you’ve got more than one article. Offer one soulful insight without diminishing its magic. Let it stand. I’ll say it again — keep it Simple, Sacred, Strong.
Respect to the addicts but stop accepting the notion that you need 22 ways to accomplish the same thing. There is definitely value in knowing more than one way to skin a cat but you can only try one method at a time (without wasting cats) so there is little value in trying to learn all 22 ways at once. Pick one. The internet will keep all of the other ways cataloged for you or you will be offered a book to shelve. You do not have to put it all into your brain, all at once, several times per day, on every subject under the sun. Not even for the time it takes to read the whole damn list.