Saturday, October 29, 2005

Curious about Simplicity - How Can It Affect Our Lives and Businesses?

Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.”

Recently, I have noticed that there seem to be more and more teleseminars that deal with “overwhelm” and how to handle our lives, goals and businesses without experiencing burnout.

I also purchased and started to read Mark Joyner’s new book, The Irresistible Offer. The book is written with simplicity and loaded with power. I couldn’t wait to visit his website. Through it I found Joyner’s free program called Simple.ology 101, defined as the “simple science of getting what you want.”

The more I read about it, the more I realized that I needed to try it. I am presently on Day 2, and will let you know how it works for me. You will find it at

In the meantime, I started to think more about simplicity and its strengths. By cutting out clutter and simplifying our lives, I feel we can more easily develop clarity and balance. If you know how many careers I have stuffed into my “Portfolio Career” you are probably starting to think I am a true hypocrite.

Not so! I do experience borderline overwhelm at times, but by simplifying my approach to each task and each career, I have been able to keep my focus, my clear vision and stay on the straight lines.

In the spring, I moved into a brand new apartment, and used this opportunity to rid myself of a great deal of clutter that was slowing down my life and my business. I used Feng Shui principles along with a minimalist approach to planning the décor. The simplicity has more than enhanced my surroundings, it has helped double my business(es).

Ready for some good quotes?
  • Leo Tolstoy said, “There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth.”
  • Lao Tzu counseled, “Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires.”
  • Leonardo da Vinci felt that, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
  • And, Charles Dudley Warner wrote, “Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.”
  • One of my all-time favorites, Frank Lloyd Wright, stated, “Organic architecture seeks superior sense of use and a finer sense of comfort, expressed in organic simplicity."

I did find, however, other quotations about simplicity that should spark some thinking and discussion:

  • What did Henry B. Adams mean when he wrote, “Simplicity is the most deceitful mistress that ever betrayed man.”
  • And, was Socrates up-to-date when he said, “Serenity, regularity, absence of vanity, sincerity, simplicity, veracity, equanimity, fixity, non-irritability, adaptability, humility, tenacity, integrity, nobility, magnanimity, charity, generosity, purity. Practice daily these eighteen "ities" You will soon attain immortality.” It is a tall order!
  • Explorer Thor Heyerdahl wrote, “Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity.”
  • And, this statement by the well known fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent, will probably surprise you, “I wish I had invented blue jeans. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity - all I hope for in my clothes.”
  • Is the following true? Doug Horton believes, “The art of simplicity is a puzzle of complexity.”

There are many other simplicity quotes to live by. Keeping our days simple - not simplistic - can be a challenge, but I feel that it is worthwhile.

Just remember the words of the great poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Simplicity in character, in manners, in style; in all things the supreme excellence is simplicity.”