Simple is Beautiful

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

Albert Einstein

Aim for simplicity in all that you do.

Go as deep as you can. Get dirty. And then strip away everything unnecessary. What you will be left with will be only the essential parts – the essence of the thing. What you will be left with will be simple. And beautiful.

Resist the human temptation to write off that which appears simple. The best things in life are simple. Not too simple – that would render them crude – but just the right amount.

If something in your life feels complicated right now, remind yourself that it isn’t actually complicated. It only appears that way because you haven’t yet stripped away the superfluous and the non-essential – you are carrying unnecessary baggage that is muddying the water.

Complication is never necessary. It is sometimes the result of ineptitude – nobody has yet reduced the problem to its essential elements – and sometimes the result of malice – somebody is trying to pull the wool over your eyes, and deceive you.

Life can, and should be, simple. Not easy. Not effortless. Not without trial or tribulation. But simple.

There is a reason why “The Old Man and the Sea,” Ernest Hemingway’s last major work of fiction, and the one which won him the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature reads at a Year 5 level – suitable for 9 and 10 years olds.

He made it as simple as possible, but not simpler. That’s art.

“He always thought of the sea as ‘la mar’ which is what people call her in Spanish when they love her. Sometimes those who love her say bad things of her but they are always said as though she were a woman. Some of the younger fishermen, those who used buoys as floats for their lines and had motorboats, bought when the shark livers had brought much money, spoke of her as ‘el mar’ which is masculine.They spoke of her as a contestant or a place or even an enemy. But the old man always thought of her as feminine and as something that gave or withheld great favours, and if she did wild or wicked things it was because she could not help them. The moon affects her as it does a woman, he thought.” 

Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

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