19 Feb 2010


General interest 4 Comments

Simplicity’s only adversary is Temptation.

As our world gets more complex, discussions about simplicity grow.

I found in my own life that I thrived on complexity. I designed elaborate, overly thought-out and complicated projects. I worked at my life as if it were one of my projects. I only rested when the work was done, but I always found more work to do! I kept a vigorous schedule, at home, at work, with my relationships and with how I arranged my thoughts. Categorizing, List making, labeling and precise organizational habits filled my days and nights. Complexity is control, and control leads to temptation. We reward ourselves for our complicated lives.

“Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.”
Paul Rand

That is why I believe simplicity’s only adversary is temptation.

It is our biggest paradox: We demand more and more from the stuff in our lives and yet we also increasingly demand that it be easy to use. All around us, in our daily lives we are being bombarded, remember your goals. Keep your goals fresh in your mind by writing them down and repeating them often. If you get tired or feel like you’ve lost touch with the message you wish to project – STOP! Take a break, then come back refreshed and look at your goals again.

The I Ching has been used for more than 5000 years, it is a source of wisdom and inspiration. As events transpire in our lives, I use the I Ching for reflection. Below are some inspiring points to live by using the power of Zen and keeping it simple.

“Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.” – John Maeda

When something is too obvious, it’s probably unneeded. With the obvious removed, the meaningful comes into view.

The laws of Simplicity:

  • Law 1: Reduce: Removes unneeded features.
  • Law 2: Organize: Saves some of the features for when needed.
  • Law 3: Time: Speeding up a process removes unneeded waste of time.
  • Law 4: Learn: Remove unneeded confusion by explaining.
  • Law 5: Difference: If everything is meaningful, nothing is.
  • Law 6: Context: Make the meaningful subtle.
  • Law 7: Emotion: Sometimes something can be obvious and meaningful.
  • Law 8: Trust: When we trust that we’re seeing something meaningful, even more can be removed.
  • Law 9: Failure: Sometimes with only the meaningful remaining, it’s still complex.
  • Law 10: The One: Simplicity is everyone’s job.

4 Responses to “Simplicity”

  1. Christian-Ann Goulet says:

    Very interesting and thoughtful article…great read!!

  2. Craig Waterfield says:

    Glad you like it! More to come on the subject… There’s not enough hours in the day. But I am working on it!

    – Craig

  3. Nicole Bafaro says:

    It is rare that I come across someone of “our age” bracket who is so insightful as to refer to the I Ching. If once a day all of us would stop to reflect on our actions and what we are doing that is of importance and what can be shed then in the end we would all receive much more satisfaction from life.

  4. Leanne says:

    I really enjoyed that and look forward to more!

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