Musings: On Simplicity as Elegance Embodied...

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One secret I've learned in life again and again. Keep it simple. This doesn't mean your life will be plain plain or ordinary. Far from it. Imagine the Tiffany solitaire diamond. Simple in design. Exacting in execution. Breath taking in person. Most of the world's most lovely creations are made with painstaking precision and simplicity. Simple, you see, isn't always easy. (Ask anyone doing the 300 kettlebell swings a day workout how something so straightforward could prove such a challenge.) But keeping your look, your life, your choices, your relationships, your schedule - your very life experience - simple and not complex is one genius way of retaining your joy. 

How am I living this truth? Here's how I do it: 

  1. Make better choices. Consider what you are saying yes to - be they things, people, opportunities, activities, experiences, conversations. Pause half a breath and decide if this investment in time and energy is the best use of those resources. You will never, ever regain your time, so guard it carefully. 
  2. Edit, edit and edit again. If it doesn't make you happy or serve you dutifully, let it go. This means emptying closets, drawers and cabinets of anything you don't absolutely love or need. I do this with great frequency and am getting better and better at it. The absence of the "weight" of things that aren't fabulous is freeing. Sell it, donate it, let it go and discover that you yourself are the one who has been set free from the cage. 
  3. Before tackling a project, ask yourself: is there a better way to do this? Perhaps you are overthinking a challenge or adding degrees of complexity that can be eliminated. If you want to climb a hill, climb a hill. Often the task is far more simple to complete than previously thought. On that note...
  4. Make a list. Not a typical to-do list filled with "buy tissue, buy eggs..." nonsense. No. You're too smart for that. Make a TO ACHIEVE list and structure your days around those larger life goals. For me this means dedicating time to making things and coming up with new ideas for products and projects. For you it might mean finally signing up for that advanced conversational French class so you can fulfill your dream of moving abroad. The lesson? Don't let the minutiae keep you from achieving your dreams. 

The overall lesson is this: Don't major in minor things. Eliminate the distractions in life to better allow you to focus your energies on what matters. Love matters, your dreams matter, your time matters, your life matters. Shake off the excess and let the diamonds in your life shine bright like the stars in the sky. Simplicity is truly elegance embodied.