Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed with too much information, unable to make the right decision? Do you feel like you need to know more before making a decision? The ‘Iceberg Principle’ suggests that less is more and that what matters most is not always obvious.
This article will discuss why less is more in terms of the ‘Iceberg Principle, and how it can be applied to decision-making processes.
THE ICEBERG PRINCIPLE: WHAT MATTERS MOST ISN’T ALWAYS OBVIOUS
2 parts of the iceberg
- There are two main ways of looking at aspects of life:
- On the surface: The outward, superficial appearance, especially as distinguished from its inner nature
- Going deep: To go beyond appearances to try to perceive the true nature of something; not to be fooled by superficial glitter or plainness
- The easiest of these two outlooks to adopt is to see things on the surface – it doesn’t require much time or thought
Are you a surface-dweller?
- How often do you act on impulse, just because your first thought or feeling is that something is OK or good?
- How often do you stop, evaluate, and research BEFORE speaking, believing, or making choices?
- How often do you follow trends (what everyone else buys, eats, watches, believes, tries) because they’re popular?
- The battle cry of the surface-dweller is that if it sounds, looks, or feels good, it must be inherently good – period!
The danger of being a surface-dweller
- What seems good on the surface isn’t always good when you dig deeper
- The apple of Snow White: On the surface, it looked like a desirable piece of fruit, but inside it was poisonous
Learn to go deep
- Always look beyond the moment (the surface) – question anything that influences:
- What you believe – News stories, traditions, what people tell you (even those close to you) when people gossip/complain
- What you choose – If it says natural, best, #1, etc
- Your emotions – Entertainment, desire to do something, people with a motive
How to use this:
- Have a mindset to question everything – What’s the illusion?’Ask yourself:
- What am I missing? Have I looked for evidence/facts?
- What are the consequences?
- What does personal experience tell me?
- What are some potential negatives?
- ‘It’s fun’ – It may be on the surface, but what are the potential/long-term consequences of doing it?
- ‘Everyone’s watching it’ – So! How is it affecting them – their thinking, beliefs, and emotions?
- ‘My heart says to believe’ – What evidence (not strong emotion) do you have for doing so?
- Don’t walk around paranoid about everything but remain alert to the potential need to look beyond the surface
In conclusion, the Iceberg Principle illustrates that many of the most important elements in life are hidden beneath the surface. The things that truly matter, such as character and values, are often not immediately visible.
Uncovering these deeper layers requires taking a step back and looking at them from a different perspective. It is only then that we can recognize what really matters and take the necessary steps to cultivate those qualities in our lives.