Thoughts on Simple

Who would ever imagine I’d be talking about Arianna Huffington?  The founder of the Huffington Post never brings a cell phone or tablet or computer of any kind into her bedroom.  She “tunes out” 7-8 hours a day.

Arianna makes a point of saying that email can be a great liability to us, not an asset.  She suggests that we all become slaves to our email, that we often spend the majority of our day reacting to others, rather than proactively pursuing our own ideas and our own agenda for the day.

Here’s an excerpt from the blog, The Heretic:

“Recently I overheard a semiprofessional cyclist say to a group of other cyclists:

“‘Once you get fancy, fancy gets broken.’

“He was referring to the gear on his bike.  The fancier it gets (the more complex, the more features, the more intricate, the more tech), it tends to break more often and in ways that make it more difficult to repair.

“What is true for his gear, I believe, is equally true for your company, your processes, and your product.  Most of us have a tendency to add to things – we add features, we add complexities, we add steps.  All well intended – aiming for more, better, faster.

“Yet in reality we tend to just make our stuff break.  Features our users don’t understand, code which is buggy, processes which are convoluted, systems that become increasingly complex.

“Resist the urge to get fancy.  Stay simple and clean.  Less is often more.

“As famed Braun designer Dieter Rams said, ‘Less but better.’”

A friend sent me a review of the book: “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown.

The theme of the book is, do less, but better.  You unlock quality and make your best contribution on things that really matter by doing only what is essential, to whit:

  • If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.
  • Think “I choose to,” “Only a few things really matter,” and “I can do anything, but not everything.”

Spend as much time as you can exploring, listening, debating, questioning and thinking.  Almost everything in life is noise and very few things are truly valuable.

Figure out what’s truly important.

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

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