Spike’s tummy was rumbling. It has been rumbling forever. He has very a specific gastronomical constitution. His guardian has tried raw feeding, wet food, low-fat diet, grain-free diet, freshly cooked food to no avail. It was upsetting. Every morning, he would wake up stretching his abdomen in discomfort, followed by a bout of vomiting after eating and occasional diarrhoea. He was losing weight. His vet had performed multiple tests including full-thickness intestinal biopsies but apart from having an inflamed gastrointestinal tract, there was nothing else to be found. It was only after repeated questioning did the guardian reveal that she would give him toast in the evenings. She did it because that is what she had always done with the dogs she had and did not consider that to be ‘food’ and hence failed to mention it in the past. Once she stopped the toast, the abdominal issues went. Sometimes, a dog just needs to eat dog food.

How simple is your life? How complex are your dealings with people? How easy is it for others to understand your instructions? Do you find in life that things can get very complicated? Whether it is something simple like following a recipe or giving your team instructions to complete a project? Perhaps it is telling someone that you are interested in them or planning your business? It can be very easy to overcomplicate something that can be accomplished very simply.

There are some things in life that need meticulous planning and be free from errors but there are also many things that can be easily overcomplicated if not careful. Sometimes overthinking can lead to procrastination. Other times, it can even cause issues that need not have happened if the most straightforward route was taken. Life tends to get complicated all by itself and there’s no need to assist it in doing so! There is merit in Keeping It Simple Stupid, K.I.S.S.

Sometimes instructions are too protocol-driven and it is easy to lose sight of the objective. We can get so wrapped up in how it is being done that we forget why we are doing it. When a certain method or technique is failing to get the desired result, we can get stuck in trying to ‘force’ our way in getting the method right instead of questioning if there is another way to getting the same result. All roads lead to Rome. It is ok to get there via another route if the original route is blocked.

Focusing on results instead of following protocol may prove to be more energy-efficient and logical in many instances. It does require more thinking and creativity to focus on results than just following instructions or using a technique/method you are familiar with. Perhaps that is why many people do not do that. It is easier to blame a process, something, or someone else for not getting the results you want than to take responsibility for not understand why you are doing something, what results you desire and how to do something else to get there. Keeping the objective in mind and focusing on the result instead of the process will allow you to simplify things as much as possible.

Keeping It Stupidly Simple can also reduce procrastination. It can appear daunting to do anything due to the level of complexity involved. It is easy to suffer paralysis by analysis. Too much thinking can lead to inaction. Too much ANALysis and discussing with others (or with yourself) can lead to No Action Talk Only (NATO). Many times the right action in life is to take action. NIKE got it right, Just Do It. The faster you do it, the faster you get the result. If it is a good result, continue. If it is not what you want, learn, pivot, and move on. At the minimum, you have solved the question of whether it would work or not! Done is better than perfect. Things are really not that complicated.

Being happy is simple. Simply BE. It is easy to say I will be happy when… so and so happens or when I have such and such. If you are not happy without ‘so and so’ or ‘such and such’, you will struggle to be happy when you get ‘so and so’ and ‘such and such’. Learn how to be happy with or without. Keep It Simple Stupid. Remember that ultimately, whatever you desire or want (or not want), what you are really craving for is the feeling you will receive when you get that thing. So see if you can get that feeling doing something else if you are struggling to get the original thing. There is more than one way to get to Rome. Focusing on how you want to feel may allow you to seek out other ways to feel that apart from what you thought was the only way. Less is truly more in many situations.

Keeping It Stupidly Simple does not mean it is the easy way out or being lazy. On the contrary, it actually involves more thinking, perspective and flexibility. It takes healthy self-esteem to be flexible. It takes courage to step away from the method/protocol/technique that you are familiar with to try something different. You may not get it right the first time but it does not mean that you are wrong. A detour does not mean that you will not get to Rome.

When you become good at being flexible to get your results, keeping it stupidly simple over time, it gives you more than the results you desire, it builds your confidence. You know if you focus on your results, understand your Why, you have the ability to get there using multiple methods and are not confined to ‘normal’ or traditional methods. You have the ability to take action, adjust and achieve your goals whenever needed. You are unstoppable, simply by Keeping It Simple Stupid.

Spike’s tummy issues were resolved by giving less, no more toast! What in your life can be simplified to allow you to get to what you want faster?

‘Less is more.’

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