Self Improvement

Striving for Simplicity

Simplicity isn’t a slow man’s solution to complex problems but a gateway to a deeper conversation.
Winston Churchill thought and wrote a lot about simplicity and complexity and in his tenure as a wartime Prime Minister he had to wrestle with complicated connected variable pieces that could save or cost lives and he needed to communicate the results of his battle with clarity and brevity.

“A vocabulary of truth and simplicity will be of service throughout your life.”
“Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge. Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words when short are best of all.”
“All the great things are simple.”
“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.”

If we frame a discussion, debate or generative conversation in a complex mind map overly with lines and shading connecting strength, direction and reciprocity we can overwhelm and disinvite participants. Academics and bureaucrats like complex expressions of though because it raises the status of their domain. But if we open a door with some simple thoughts and possible remedies, we create space for wider engagement and diverse input.

Readers will know that I suffer from some serious confirmation bias and pretty strong delusions of grandeur so masking uncertainty with a web of connected observations can be a tendency of mine. I realize that I can have more creative, ingenious and original interactions if I can begin without the pretense of convolution and elaboration.

Make Today remarkable, by beginning with simplicity,



Marc and Angel’s “Hack Life” post this morning 20 Reasons Life Gets Way Too Complicated is another example of their great philosophy, practice and prose. (and fits with this month’s series).  I am a believer that we require a certain amount of tension in our lives. It is where we are nudged to be creative, courageous and compassionate. I love having a bit of the sense of overwhelming over my shoulder but my life gets too complex when I don’t follow some of the tips on this list.

20. We compare ourselves to others who seem better off. I don’t really know their story and they don’t know mine. In my coaching practice, I have seen outwardly successful and together clients confess their messedupness and then begin the process of building their specifically remarkable life.

14. We avoid the tough and necessary conversations. Unless to are a mind reader or a boni fide seer, knowing how anyone will react to hearing the ‘truth’ is disrespectful. Even if you think you are pushing the important issue below the surface, you are using up emotional and kinetic energy as it bubbles below the water line.

7. We let the haters get to us. I again need to celebrate the great philosopher of our time, Taylor swift, because she understands that “haters gonna hate” and now everyone/anyone can have a platform for their vitriol. When I realize that haters are sad, desperate cynics and that I would be one too if I stooped to their tactics, it gives me freedom to ignore their tirades.

1.We try to do way too much. This is the big ‘easy to say, harder to do’ in this list. I have missed opportunities because I didn’t say no and leave some space for inspiring opportunities.

“For the simplicity on this side of complexity, I wouldn’t give you a fig. But for the simplicity on the other side of complexity, for that I would give you anything I have.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. or Winston Churchill



Each Community is Different

Traditionally government departments have worked independently in providing services to children and families. Too often services are fragmented and too narrow in their focus. To achieve a broader, better quality of service, government departments need to work together and with community organizations, agencies, families and individuals. Community involvement is essential in this process. By working in partnership, government and communities are better able to identify problem areas and gaps in services, identify solutions and plan prevention strategies.

Collaborative, community-based planning brings together all the people and organizations who have responsibility for children. The work of communities in responding to child hunger is a good example of how well this functions. With government support, organizations and individuals have come together within communities to target resources – including buildings, volunteer help, equipment donations and money – and develop community-based responses to child hunger. In each community the approach used is different and reflects community needs, resources and expertise.

Although poverty is the largest single risk factor for children and youth, there are other factors to be addressed including injuries and conditions leading to hospitalization and deaths. Poverty and social dependence are complex issues, and result from many factors within society and an individual’s life. Effectively addressing these issues requires the partnership of communities, agencies, governments and individuals. Each member of our society plays a role in that society. Our efforts are strongest when we work together to address the serious issues facing children.