More Complexity is Rarely the Answer


“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
― Albert Einstein


Boy do we like to complicate things.


In a world where more is often sold as the antidote it shouldn’t be a surprise I guess. However, it really is amazing how much we can complicate the uncomplicated at times.


The truth is, more complexity is rarely, if ever, the answer.


What We Can Learn from Nature

Nature doesn’t complicate things.


Animals graze, gather or hunt to eat for survival. Find water to stay hydrated. Raise a family as best they can. The young play and learn while they play. Adults rest and pool their energies for when they need it most (running after or away from something).


They focus all their energy on a few key areas.   They focus on the essential. They live on instinct. They keep life as simple as they can.


What We Can Learn from the Great Minds

Most of the greatest thinkers and minds in our history have thought deeply and spoken about the dangers in adding complexity or instinctively they have avoided it.


These people have tried to cut to the core of what really matters in their fields of excellence. They seek out simplicity and the things that matter most. They avoid distractions as best they can.


Most of us however do anything but.


We whittle away our time on things that don’t matter much, that don’t support our goals and then complain we are time starved.


We add complexity and more moving parts to situations when the answer is more likely to involve stripping away.


Complicating things is conditioned into us from early but we can fight back.


That’s what a short series of upcoming posts on Frictionless will be dedicated to.   Stripping away the complicated and getting back to simple.


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I also write regularly for the Huffington Post and Medium