The Art of Simplicity

March 17, 2010

Thanks Ricky Dave

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” Leonardo Da Vinci

Learning something new is fantastic, and we should all be learning something every day, be it new skill, sport or life lesson, the object of life is to learn and love. However, as I have found over the last few days, we make things more complicated than they need to be. Food is a good example of this.

When I first started cooking I thought that putting lots of herbs and spices in the flavour would instantly improve. I honestly put in about 4 different herbs into a bolognaise, or chilli powder into an omelette! But it never worked, why? It was too complicated.

Now you may find this obvious, but we do this all the time unconsciously. For most of us, our lives are probably the biggest example of being too complicated. All those commitments, relationships, parties, sports, games consoles, computers, sofas, exercise equipment we never use, books we never read, facebook, mobiles or even that essay I wrote. It all becomes too complicated.

The irony is, that by adding more, the quality diminishes.

A couple of years ago, I went to St. Martin in the Caribbean with nothing but a back pack, and $100 in my pocket. The result: I had some of the best times of my life so far. Why? Simplicity. I did not have commitments, possessions to hold me back (I probably brought too many T-shirts and shorts, I could have got away with less), people to ring, heck I didn’t even have a computer.

The key feeling of that whole experience was liberation. I was free. There are many great articles on simplicity, but in truth, the idea is very simple, and I will be writing about my experiences of liberating myself from unnecessary possessions later, but before I leave, I want you to do something for me:

Relax, just drop your shoulders and then move it down all the way to your toes.

What are the four most important things in your life? List them, then reflect.

Is everything else that important?

Here is a poem I personally think is one of the best poems I’ve ever read. It has helped me keep perspective in times where people are frantic. (I realise this post isn’t that structured, but I just felt like this is relevant).


Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
You’d better slow down.
Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won’t last.

Do you run through each day
On the fly?
When you ask “How are you?”
Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?
You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won’t last.

Ever told your child,
We’ll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time
To call and say “Hi”?
You’d better slow down.
Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift….
Thrown away.
Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.

Thanks For reading everyone

AC out.


One comment

  1. […] Step at a Time Just another WordPress.com weblog « The Art of Simplicity A short guide to Clarity March 18, […]

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