Einstein said many things, but one of his most profound quotes was “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it to yourself”.
In this crazy tech driven society of ours people seem to have forgotten that life is meant to be about simplicity. Sunsets and Sunrises, rainbows, walking the dog, the simple tasks of life. In the excellent book about human nature; Selfish, Scared and Stupid by Dan Gregory & Kieran Flanagan: SSS article. they wrote a cheat sheet to keep it simple, here it is:
Make it Simple Shortcuts
- We are already ridiculously busy and overloaded with information, so make things easy to digest and simple to action.
- If you make our lives more complicated, we will simply ignore you.
- We have more options than we need, so make yours simpler to understand.
- If you can’t fit it onto a post-it or explain it to a six year old, it needs simplifying.
- Identify the most basic need or value you need to satisfy and start there.
- Information curators are the new power brokers.
Bruce Lee hits the nail squarely on the head: If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done. So what has society thought about simplicity over the generations, let’s have a look:
1. How many of these don’t you do because of the complications you have made them mean, change to the simplicity of this list.
2. Two and a half thousand years ago Confucius gave the world this piece of advice, do you think we listened. Get out your Iphone and ask a friend: Simple Life.
3. And from the great series Mad Men, Don Draper offers an advertising executive’s cut at simplicity.
4. My friends daughter Natalie is a minimalist. Here’s some information about it if you don’t know what it is:Minimalism.
5. Never thought I would see the day I would quote Adolf Hitler, but unfortunately he has a point that politicians have been using for centuries.
6. I have to admit that there are complicated things on the planet. Those formulas we see written on those board in films need mathematicians to make them, simply, understandable: Welcome to my Complicated Life.
7. More wisdom from the curly haired one, an example: Steve Jobs and the IPhone, remember the original bricks that were the mobile phone.
8. The process of existing on this planet between sunrise and sunset , what happened?: Sunrise, Sunset.
9. When I was leaving my unit this morning, I noticed the many things I had lying around I have not used in months, time for a clean out.
10. Like this a lot. I must admit when I think of simple that less comes to mind: Clarity.
11. I was surprised Google Images brought up this reference to Bali under make it simple quotes, but then again I have not been there, all my friends who have would probably say it makes perfect sense.
12. It’s in the making of it that the simplicity gets in: Cheap Thrills.
13. What do you want to be when you grow up? Where does all that other shit come from.
14. And when your life is simplified here is one of the greatest and simplest gifts you can give another: Come up and see me, make me Smile.
15. Yes I am of that age where I recognise pictures that are no longer used but where a lot simpler.
A typical supermarket in the modern world holds more than 47,000 products on its shelves. Only 30 years ago , that number was closer to 9,000. Some toothpaste companies produce over 50 products, more than the number of teeth we have in our mouth.
A great definition of simplicity is given by Jonathan Ive, Apples head of design: “True simplicity is derived from so much more than the absence of clutter and ornamentation. It’s about bringing order to complexity”.
The music today is a 70’s classic, a mini doco, some pop divas, a musical classic and an alternative anthem to a simple life, Enjoy.
Namaste until next time, my dear friends.