When I was younger I enjoyed complexity. Figuring out stuff. Seeing how things operate. Organizationally, it was exciting to work for a large company with many departments and many locations. It was a challenge to solve the puzzle of understanding the complexity of anything.
As I have grown older, I now view most complexity as confusion. Misplaced perspectives acting on systems that have little clarity of direction. Misplaced actions, emotions, or energy without a clear understanding of what it is we are trying to accomplish.
Powerful, strong ideas, strong companies, strong brands, are just some examples of things that benefit from simple beliefs at the core of their essence. Think about Christ’s message or Mother Teresa’s examples in living her life. Were they complex?
Simplicity is great strength but difficult for us to embrace. Our egos find great joy in understanding and sustaining complexity. When things are simple, everyone understands them. Our egos can no longer be heard when we truly embrace simplicity.
Science teaches us about the concept of entropy and that things go from a state of high order to a state of disorder over time. It’s harder to understand things that have a high state of disorder. It’s natural for things to become more complex and confusing over time.
I find, at times, that we hide behind complexity. We use it to demonstrate to others our intelligence and our misplaced feelings of superiority when we use big words and lofty ideas that others don’t quite understand.
Complexity sometimes is a box full of band aids that were placed over time to mistakenly imply the long term improvement of a situation. They may have helped for the day, week or month but at the risk of confusing others as to the overall direction, goal or benefit meant for the situation or organization you find yourself involved in.
Complexity can easily deaden our sense of direction.
We mistakenly assign great value to things that seem very complex. Especially when we are young. We use the energy of our youth to persevere and endure in the maze that complexity creates.
Simplicity is always the better choice. Making things simple can empower us in many ways. Simplicity can be a strong, yet elusive friend, that never reveals itself easily. Making things more complex is easy. Making things more simple is very, very hard.
Our benefit from struggling to make things more simple results in creating within us a clarity to better understand our direction and the value of things we choose to spend time on. It helps greatly, in giving us an opportunity to have a greater impact in our lives.
What complex things are hard for you to make simple?