Umm... definitely not this kind of a KISS.
The simpler the things are, the better we accept them. The simpler the things are, the more we understand them. The key to acceptances, and understanding is then to maintain this state of them being simple. But, if life’s thought us anything, then it’s the fact that keeping our relationships, work, social life, health & fitness, or whatever else there is that constitutes, and makes our lives ours, it never ends up being simple.
In short, keeping things simple in our lives is easier said than done. When everything we set out to do, achieve, and become turns itself on us. It then becomes tedious to relate to it, accept it, or even have the energies to understand what’s happening.
The solution to this dilemma, as I see it, is to slow down first. The faster things happen, the more complicated they become. Often, slowing down is seen or interpreted, by our peers, as giving up. I don’t let that pressure get to me. Slowing down on whatever it is you’re trying to do, gives you some very much needed insights. It throws at you those questions that you never even knew you were asking. Let me give you an example here - I’ve committed myself to writing, and publishing one post a day, here on this blog. It’s simple right? Write a post, on anything I feel the want to write on, and publish it. But, if you’ve have been keeping an eye on my blog, you’ll know that for this month of February, I’ve been lax. That’s because I’ve found myself slowing down. Not to mention the simple part of publishing a post a day, was previously a process which took tons of time. Slowing down, made me question my motives of writing, and publishing everyday. It made me question why I use the tools I use to write, and publish. It made me question the workflow I used to use. All of those led to a new design, a new identity, a completely new workflow that allows me to write, publish in a much easier way than what I was used to.
There is no balloon.
So yea, slowing down on things does help you. It helps you by questioning your motives, your methods, and your dedication. It also helps you decide if you did like to continue on with whatever you’ve slowed down on or give-up on it, in pursuit of other things out there.
But, slowing down is only the first step.
Stepping back, and looking at things from a different perspective is the second thing I do, to make things simpler again. This whole thing of stepping out, or seeing things from another perspective is though to grasp initially.
I don’t know about you, but when I first tried to imagine myself analysing things from a different angle, from within “somebody else’s shoes”, I couldn’t see it or rather I did know how to go about it. Again, it’s just a complicated way of saying that we should ask for help.
Dance the dance: Ask for help.
We should openly ask for criticism, opinions, ideas, and advice from everyone we know, and their mothers. And we should be able to listen to all of the feedback we get; become open to the negative with the positive. Accepting what we receive in terms of advice, knowledge, insights, critiques, etc. from our peers, strangers, and families takes some time getting used; especially if you’re so used to your voice inside your head - been there, done that.
Let me give you an example, related to the first one above - I changed the domain name from sojourner.co to indefiniteloop.com. Not an easy task, and one that I wasn’t aware I may need to do either. When I initially settled down, and changed from designerfoo.com to sojourner.co, I thought that would be it. But, on asking people, all from varied backgrounds, who’re friends, acquaintances, family members, and readers of the blog, I came to know that it’s hard for them to relate to “sojourner” - both, as a word, and as someones’ identity. It was hard for them pronounce it or pass it along to their peers; sometimes even hard for them to spell it. I asked myself, if someone new, whom I’ve just met told me vocally about sojourner.co then what would I do with that information? The first thought that entered my mind was that I may very well end up typing sojourner.com back home, if I did never write the name down, have his card with me; I may even call that person up, and enquire about it again, just to confirm that it was sojourner.co, and not a .com. What would I do, when I heard someone else referring to indefiniteloop.com or talking about it (not knowing anything about indefiniteloop)? The name “indefiniteloop” would strike me odd, piquing my curiosity. I did hear it, be interested in it, and because I code, I could relate to it. The point is it would be easier to recall, spell, and relate to.
Try to look at things you’re too involved with, from a different angle - which means, ask for help in any, and all forms - from everyone.
Making A Compass
Third thing I do to make things simpler again, is try to make sense of all the insights, and knowledge that I’ve collected with the above two steps. I take up a pen, open my notebook, and then I write.
I try to list all the questions that have been self-asked, first. Then I write down all the advice I’ve been given. I question all of that advice, and all of those questions again. Once done, I write down my own thoughts. Sometimes, I find myself lead to having more questions than answers or solutions. But that’s okay, questions are always good. They show interest, and involvement. Questions keep you interested. If I have led myself to asking more questions, I try to answer them. Sometimes, I draw a mind-map or two. Sometimes, I write a post not knowing it’ll become a post.
Try, to make sense of it all.
If I have questions that I cannot answer, I tend to wait. Here’s another example on the waiting bit, related to the above two examples - This year, now, today - I want to know my answers as to why I write?
Last year, I knew the answers to that question; I was convinced that those answers were it all. But, today I feel that those answers, somehow have evolved. The new answers I seek, they are elusive. Because, why I write is also directly related to what do I want to write about?, what do I want to do about/with my posts/writ/articles/books?, What’s the end goal here with me writing all of these things? - I don’t have the answers to all of them questions, yet. So, I’ll wait. I’ll go on writing, and publishing. And, one day the answers I seek, will come. Hopefully soon. Waiting, on something to become clear, is not back. It’s just taking a step back, and slowing down.
Never Fear, Change Is Here.
The last most important part of making things simpler again, is to not be afraid of making changes, of making mistakes, of asking more questions, of slowing down, of losing interest, of saying no, of letting go, and of finding new things to do.
If you know what you’re doing, never be afraid of giving up. Never be afraid of change. More often than not, people perceive giving up on somethings as a sign of weakness or a test of will. A sign of weakness? - only if you give up, without knowing if you want to not give up. A test of will? - only if you’re giving up because you don’t want to admit it to yourself that you’re not interested into whatever it’s that you’re giving up on. Because will to go on survives us all; it most definitely will be preserved by you, if you want to not give-up.
Easier said than done, but don't fear change.
But if you know that you’ve tried everything you can do, to stay interested or you know, and admit that you don’t want to keep doing whatever it is you’re giving up on, I think that’s absolutely the right thing to do then. Because, life’s short; Time does have wings, and there’s just so much more to learn, do, and experience out there.
Easier Said Than Done.
I’ve been there, adapting to follow what I write above. Sometimes I fail on following those steps, but more often than not, just by following those steps to keep things simple has led me to do, and accomplish so much, much more.
To sum it all up:
Here’s a simpler version to the above steps:
- Slow down.
- Ask everyone around you, their views, opinions, and perceptions about your “thing”. Take that with a pinch of salt. (Warning: Don’t let the bad stuff affect you, or the good stuff go to your head. Use logical thinking with all what you’ve received as advice, critique, opinions, etc from others).
- Write down everything you’ve discovered with steps 1 & 2 above. Question everything again, w.r.t steps 1 & 2 above. Wait for answers that you do not have, while proceeding as normal.
- Don’t be afraid of change, make mistakes, create blunders, or change. Don’t be afraid of giving up, or finding other things to do.
How Do You KISS?
I would love to know your process of keeping things simple. Do share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.