Thursday, August 26, 2010

Simplicity Re-visited

I've had several conversations about the subject of simplicity over the last few days, and I have drawn some conclusions from my observations that I wanted to share in this post.

Simplicity is counter-intuitive to our human nature. What I mean by saying this is that we are wired to pursue something that is more complex than something that is simple. Simplicity is defined as having a laser focus. This means that we know what our target is, and everything we do needs to reflect our pursuit of this target. But it is our love of complexity that prevents us from fully embracing the pursuit of our target.

Think about being in love. When I finally admitted to myself that I loved Bonny, my focus and target was laser clear. Now that I had my target in sight, I need to make sure that my actions reflected my pursuit of her. Every step I took was motivated by love and the courage to fight fear. My identity was shaped by my pursuit, or what I valued...and in this case it was a relationship with my future wife.

Complexity is easier to pursue than simplicity. Not only because simplicity is counter-intuitive to our human nature, but also because the pursuit of complexity gives a tangible (albeit flawed) identity. We wear our "busy" or our "complex" as badges of honor...and for some of us, our definition of success is based on our schedule or appointment book. Busy for the sake of being busy is actually counter-productive.

Each of us longs to be a part of something. Complexity is the drug that gives us a false sense of security and identity. When we define ourselves by what we do, we lose sight of who we really are. Our identity is who we are, and it may inform what we do, but it is not dependent on what we do.

My kids are my kids no matter what. When they scream, yell, or throw food...this doesn't change their identity. Their identity is firm and set in being my children...I am their dad and they are my kids. As a dad, my role is to let them know that my love for them in consistent so that they do not question their role as my kids.

Simplicity is a value for my family, it's counter-intuitive to who we are, but as a value we are in pursuit of it and moving more towards our true identity which is found in Jesus Christ.

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