I have spent most of my life simplifying. When I was a college student, I remember thinking it was because I am basically lazy. I even told that to a neighbor kid as we worked on a carpentry project. The idea was that by simplifying we could accomplish more and do any task fast. But the young fellow was shocked—his father preached work ethic above all. His father, btw, worded in a warehouse as a forklift operator.
In his book Walden, Henry Thoreau talked about focusing on the core. Simplify first and then dwell on the purpose of things and beings.
- Make Life Simpler
- Live in the moment
- Have fewer things
- Have fewer things to do
In today’s hustle and bustle world, it can be hard to focus. I think of some things I preach to my kids. I high school I took two typewriting (I believe it’s called keyboarding now), a speed reading, and a note hand (easier than short hand) class. The idea was that I could do more with my talents if I had these skills down. It worked very well for me.
And graduate school example, I used to write a chapter towards my thesis paper at the completion of each class in the curriculum. Then when it came time to finish and defend the paper all I had to do was to cull out the extraneous and uninteresting bits. I was one of less than ten folks who completed their masters on time.
My mondo hobby now-a-daze is music performance and running a band. I am finding it hard to lock in to the best tricks to simplify the complex world of music. I take two lessons a week because I am not making enough progress. In one I concentrate on sight reading, a weakness of mine, and in the other I work on sound development and improv skills.
And getting rid of stuff to simplify… It’s just not in my DNA. I’m just sayin’…