Take a Simple Idea and Take It Seriously

Someone mentioned a quote to me this week that stuck with me:

Take a simple idea and take it seriously.

I did some digging and found that the quote is attributed by many people to Charlie Munger, but I’m not sure whether it originated with him.

When I read this quote, it reminds me that focus can lead to outsize outcomes. Successful people often had a simple idea at the core of their success. The idea itself often wasn’t earth-shattering—it was how seriously they took it that made all the difference. They thought deeply about it—to the point that they became fanatically intense about it. Eventually, they shifted their intensity to executing on their idea. Execution is often the hardest part, but because they had such conviction, they pushed through challenging times that would have caused others to throw in the towel. When the dust settled and they looked back, they’d taken a simple idea that other people probably also saw to a new level because they focused intensely on it.