Not TOO simple though!

by Dan

With “Day 1” fast approaching, I have been sharpening my simplification skills in preparation for my first action. I have been reminded of another Einstein quote (don’t worry, I will quote other people in due course as well!) that helps to explain the whole point of this. He said (or is paraphrased to have said):


“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”

This may take a bit of digesting, but essentially what he is saying is that everything can be reduced to a state that is as simple as it can be, and to attempt to simplify it any further would cease to be an enhancement, in fact quite the opposite. Now, if you are anything like me then this may still be a brain-numbing concept, so a real-life example probably wouldn’t go amiss.

When asked about his creation of the Statue of David, and how such a perfect sculpture could be crafted from just one piece of marble, Michelangelo famously replied:


“David was already in the marble, I simply chipped away the excess”

This is a profound statement which I will revisit in the future, but for now we just need to consider the statue. Most would agree that this is a stunning piece of art, perfect in every detail, and chipped out of one large block of stone. I can imagine Michelangelo chipping at that block for days removing only what wasn’t required to create David. One day it was finished, complete, perfect. Yet one more strike of the chisel would have rendered the statue damaged, broken, and incomplete. This is the essence of Einstein’s point. The finished statue is the simplest form that the block of marble can take whilst still being David. If any attempt is made to reduce the block any further then David is lost.

The daily acts of simplification are my equivalent of chipping away at the marble. My “David” is the simplest form my life can take whilst still being quintessentially “me”.

The aim is a life that is as simple as possible…but not simpler….