The Missing Technique In Simplifying Life

Summary – The Yes No Question

Life is really a funny thing. It can be both complicated and simple at the same time. Let me try to elaborate. Supposedly you want to start a business. There will be a lot of things to consider such as market demand, promotion etc. I’m not even referring to other complex personal problems you will start to think like :

  • Is it your passion?
  • Will you be happy?
  • Will you have time for other things in life?
  • What if you fail?

There are so many things to consider in any decision we make throughout our life. And that doesn’t even include all the Plan B,C and D we have up our sleeve should Plan A fail (shh Plan E and F are up the other sleeve). I’m sure you will agree that this whole process we called life can be very complex.

When it is this complex, it will usually take more time to complete and more stress just to figure things out. We don’t want this now, do we?

From Complex to Simplified

The same man can stop all the noises in his head and just ask, Do I want to start a business? Yes or No? If he answers “Yes”, he will just go through his plan. Period. If the answer is “No”, then he will move on with his life.

It doesn’t get any simpler than this. This is the missing step in simplifying life – “The Yes No Question”.

Thinking about all the possibilities and analyzing the fact to ensure our success are very important in every planning. We can’t just start up a business without researching the demands, or the prospect of the business. That will be suicidal.

But all the planning will not work and will further complicate our life if we didn’t follow it up with the “Yes No Question”. Ask yourself a question that can only be answered with Yes or No.

Life is complicated enough, and when we further think about it, it will get even more complicated. I bet the man will still be thinking about his plan even after 5 years. He will still be listing down the pros and cons of starting up a business. This is all because he didn’t dare to ask himself the “Yes No Question”, which in his specific case is “Do I want to start a business? Yes or No?”

Here’s another example on the application of the “Yes No Question”. If you are deciding whether to study Chemistry or Engineering in college, just ask yourself – “Do you like Chemistry?” If the answer is Yes, then go ahead. Forget about the fear of unemployment in the future. However if the answer is No, why are you still there thinking about it. Move on to other things in your life.


This is how we live a simpler life. First complicate the thoughts with all factors and ideas considered, and then ask the “Yes No Question”. What ever the answer is, just pursue it.

There are no failure in life, just different result.

– I wonder –
Are you a complex person or a simple person or both?

———– Personal Note ————-
Sometime when I reread a few articles I wrote, I said to myself that all of the tips are easier said than done.

In the end, I asked myself – Do I want to improve myself? Yes or No?

Everything then seems so much simpler.

Photo Credit – FromASecondStory

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This post has 12 comments.

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  1. 08 Nov 08 11:13 pm

    Hey … loved the idea. That’s simplification by elimination. Problem is sometimes people don’t know whether to answer yes or no!

    I am a simple person. But do I appear simple to others or complex, only they can say 🙂

  2. banji
    09 Nov 08 6:13 am

    Avani-Mehta – Great point, That’s why we need to start it off with complicating the question. List down everything there is to consider and then just make the leap by answering either Yes or No based on which option we are more inclined to.

    Even if we decide wrongly, it will always be better than not deciding at all 🙂

  3. 09 Nov 08 8:18 pm

    its just like the police asking a vilain,
    ‘did u shot pocket?’
    ‘err, i was actually shooting the chicken at the back,
    when suddenly pocket runs into the line of fire,
    or i might re-phrase that to….the line of fire shifted to pocket,
    and he was dancing the dont-shoot-medance,
    i was intimidated by that and accidentally but with full caution
    squeezed the trigger when my rifle was directed towards his left ear’
    ‘anything to add?’
    ‘well, the right ear was alligned with his left so the bullet went through
    his head… it was not my fault. i didnt shoot pocket’

    hheheheheeh (THose was me jabbering banji..)
    the right question was …
    ‘did u shot pocket!! yes or no!!?’

    heheheh much simpler isnt it?

  4. 10 Nov 08 1:50 pm

    Sometimes I’m simple and complex at the same time.


    And I’m agree with you that tips are easier said than done.

  5. 11 Nov 08 12:21 am

    Pocket – That is an excellent example to describe how a simple yes no question can move the situation forward.

    Off topic – One can give a million reasons but still if he shot a guy, he should be responsible. Whether he is guilty or innocent, that is up to the investigation and the court. But the least he can do is to apologize to the family of the deceased

    Hardy Chen – Any tips that change things will always be hard. And it will not get any easier when we look at it as a hard thing to do.

  6. this is a great article~ many of the students over my way over complicate assignment needs; an 8 page final copy starts out as an 80 page draft! Elimination can be a learning curve

  7. banji
    12 Nov 08 11:58 am

    Char – I like that phrase “elimation can be a learning curve”. When we think about it, elimination is really a skill we need to learn. Thank you Char for sharing your experience

  8. 07 Apr 09 2:28 pm

    I love your articles and have bookmarked you. You said everybit of it in small article. May be not many poeple would understand what you meant to say till the time they fail…….

  9. 29 Apr 09 12:07 am

    Mystic Madness – Thank you for the uplifting words. My hope has always been to share what little ideas I have in the hope that someone else can further expand the idea.

    Again thank you for the comments. You have just made my day 🙂

  10. Nora
    22 Jun 09 4:26 pm

    I really love your article…its rather simple n easy to say than done

  11. 29 Jun 09 6:21 pm

    Nora – Thank you Nora. It is true, there are a lot of things that is easier said than done. I guess that’s what make them all worth it 🙂

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