Wednesday, March 17, 2004

The Virtues of Simplicity

The Virtues of Simplicity.

Edward De Bono, in his book argues that Simplicity, like Quality is a value that every organization should strive for. There should be a "Simplicity Department" to ensure that things--be it products, procedures or processes--are not unduly complicated.

Simplicity is a virtue. The best inventions are often the simplest ones. In art, the work of a master often has an underlying simplicity. In mathematics, the most elegant solution to a problem is the simplest one.

I also admire people who are simple in their taste and conduct. It does not mean these people are unsophisticated or "simplistic" in their thinking; they are merely confident in themselves and do not see the need to be loud and flashy just to show their importance to others.

A simple person should not be equated with someone who lacks the desire to do well in life. There are people who shun the rat race just because they are afraid to compete on equal terms with other people. These are people who are afraid to face up to their own weaknesses. A simple person is not a loser; he does not lack in ambition. He merely works quietly and diligently, and enjoys the fruits of his labour moderately.

A simple person would consciously choose to under-reward himself because in allowing himself a little less pride and pleasure than what he is entitled to, he disciplines his ego and keeps it in check. He is grateful for the blessings he receives and shares his success with others. Nor does he bear any grudges against people who choose to indulge themselves extravagantly; for the joy of others is his joy too.

A simple person is a happy person, because he is at peace with himself and with the world. That in the end, is the greatest reward of being a simple person.

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