Life is simple.
Or, rather, it really can be – but for whatever reason we seem to make it incredibly complex.
I don’t know if we we like to make it complex or if we just let it get complex, but life can be a lot less complicated than we tend to make it.
Sometimes we take the beauty that nature has given us and abuse it – making it much more than it needs to be. We introduce drama into what should be a very drama-free activity.
So in this year’s election I’m voting for the K.I.S.S. party.
But I digress. I’m not talking about the band KISS - although I like some of their songs (who doesn’t like Rock and Roll All Nite?) – but the Keep It Simple, Stupid party. You know – the principle that Kelly Johnson coined when he challenged his engineers at the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works that the jet aircraft they were designing must be repairable by an average mechanic in the field under combat conditions with only a handful of tools (or something like that).
Oh, sorry – did you think I was writing this post about something else? I’m in Marketing; what did you expect? If I’d put a picture of something simple up here instead of a lovely pair of lips do you think I’d get the same reaction?
Part of the reason I’m a fan of this particular party is because it’s very complementary to minimalism - something I’m trying to get better at being. While they’re certainly complementary they’re not the same thing – it’s possible to live a “normal” (read: not minimalistic) life while subscribing to the KISS approach, although the reverse is quite a bit harder.
But the main reason I’m a fan of keeping it simple is because I’m an easy-going kind of guy (last week’s incident notwithstanding) and, quite frankly, I HATE DRAMA. I’m not referring to dramatic movies (although I tend to eschew those, as well, in favor of those with action or comedy) or dramatic stories or anything like that. I’m talking about real life drama. Like people talking behind backs. Or under-the-covers backstabbing. Or politics.
Drama is complex. Drama involves putting things together that have no business being together – like friends and masks or lies and public service. And when that happens it stops being simple.
Admittedly I’m a fan of being easy-going since that’s how I like to live my life. And complexity is not conducive to being easy-going…but simplicity is. At times that’s stifled my ability to be effective in my job; I’d much rather run a fairly simple analysis and understand the risks than get detailed to the nth degree and pretend that means things are more accurate. At other times it’s been a boon to my effectiveness – my propensity to go simple enables much quicker decisions while keeping the (metaphorical, since I’m not a baseball player these days) batting average high. All-told, though, I’ve been highly blessed to be where I’m at, so we’ll say the approach has been successful.
My biggest challenge right now with simplicity, though, is two-fold. The first is getting to more of a minimalist lifestyle. Simple is a key for making that work, and I’m just not there.
The second, though, is a bigger challenge. My personality is a people-pleasing personality. I like it when people smile and are happy, and so sometimes that means that I sacrifice my happiness for the sake of others’. That’s what we call “drama” – that thing I hate. I’m masking my true feelings for the sake of keeping the peace. My mom and I had good discussions about that in the past; I just haven’t mastered getting over it. That’s not to say I can’t be nice – just that I need to be more honest with people and deal with the aftermath when they’re not happy. And if that results in drama? Oh well; I can cut drama out of my life a lot easier than cutting myself out of my life.
I’ve taken some steps in the right direction recently. I’m just not completely where I need to be, so keep on me and don’t let me off the hook.
How about you? Do you buy into the KISS approach to life, the universe and everything? Or are you someone who is hip to the drama and sees complexity as something that needs to exist in life?