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Posted by on January 28, 2015

If there exists no rational necessity for complicating a matter, eschew that tendency.

Just don’t.

“Keep It Simple, Stupid” has been good counsel for a lot longer than I’ve been around.  I’ve found it a refreshing alternative to the insatiable urge to overplan any perfectionist will instantly recognize.

Drives us nuts.

  • “Wait.  I can put another step between these two.”
  • “Nunh.  That looks too easy.”
  • “There!  GOT IT AT LAS—  Unh-uh.  I’m missing something.”

The real truth?  The more unsure a person is of how to do their job, the more intricate their system of rules to perform it.  And the more impossible it becomes for anyone else to tell if they’re doing it or not.

But enough about the government.

When there’s no good reason to make more of a thing than it needs, quit it.

Just stop.

Simplify where you can, smooth out the bumpy places, grade the steep climbs level and fill in the low spots.

When the task is adequately done and you’ve given it your best in the time allotted, sign off and get on with the next one.  Don’t get bogged down with the incessant minutae of second-guessing yourself or your work.

If it turns out you made a bad decision, make another one that’s better.  How long does it take to change your mind?  It takes a lot less time to change your mind than it does to admit you were wrong in the first place.  Yet if the goal is to do your best for yourself and others, then cowboy up and admit the first decision was lame and own that.  Then the way’s clear to make a correct decision and get things back on track.

Anybody can take a relatively simple process and make it impossibly complex.  That’s what doctoral dissertations and other advanced degrees do:  move from common-sense simplicity into ever-more-narrow complexity.  And that, Virginia, is why employers are now turning applicants with degrees away as being overqualified while taking a close look at the man or woman who knows how to apply daily common sense to intricate, complex issues.

Why?  It’s the genius intellect that evaluates the complexity swirling around an issue and dials it down to a few solid points.

Simple, right?

Sure is.  So simple many never get around to easing the self-induced stress and pressure in their own lives by listening to some of the wisest counsel to ever hit the ears . . .


The first thing to do for common sense and simplicity’s sake is to jettison political correctness.  Just stop it.  Admit it:  some of you immediately got your neurons in a wad at the word, ‘stupid’ and the weary, overused ‘offensive’ popped up.


Can we settle something here?  The only thing that ever offends you is what you allow to offend you.  Some people stay so busy being offended they’re no real use to anyone, including themselves.

Quit allowing it, then.  Severely shorten your list in your OFFENSIVE! folder.  When somebody does or says something that is truly offensive, then politely and firmly speak up, say WHY it’s offensive – important!  -, then leave.  Keep that list short and be consistent.


If something doesn’t work, DON’T KEEP TRYING IT.  It doesn’t matter who thinks their brilliance will make it work this time, quit throwing money and resources at it.  Doing more of what doesn’t work doesn’t work.


If something is working, REWARD THE ONE DOING IT.  It doesn’t matter who they are, praise them and be willing to sit at their feet and learn for yourself how to do that thing better.


Poor planning on your part does not constitute an automatic emergency on my part.


When we are no longer able to change a situation … we are challenged to change ourselves. – Victor Frankl

And usually the needed change is neither complex nor does it take long.  It takes the will to make the changes and stick with ’em.

So.  #14 of our 28 Ways To Absolutely NAIL “Tremendous” is short, sweet and to the point.


© d. dean boone, January 2015




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