The most complicated skill is to be simple — Dejan Stojanovic

In 1960 the US Navy invented the KISS principle — keep it simple, stupid — a gorgeous design principle, urging away from unnecessary complexity. The thought is basically to avoid any bullshit — there is enough of it in the world already and it rarely improves anything.

Nevertheless, we humans seem to be awfully keen on complexity, especially in human to human interactions. Sure, life is not always fathomable — a lot of things happen that are confusing, seem meaningless and frighten us — but the way we react to those things rarely invites simplicity and clarity into our lives. Hurt feelings, too much brooding and a habit of guessing instead of asking all complicate matters and what could have had a simple explanation, turns into drama. No wonder the KISS principle ends with the word “stupid”.

Life really could be a lot more simple than we make it. In a year like this, pretty much sporting the motto change of plans, I think most of us need a little KISS. A tuning into authenticity, into speaking our mind, into asking and answering honestly, and into not taking things too personally. Those beautiful moments of simplicity I have experienced this year have been real life-savers. No more confusion, just straight-forward truth. Not always a comfortable truth, but I find living a lie is a lot more exhausting.

Simplicity is beautiful and stunningly human. From this year I remember…

…the beauty of saying: Hey, I need a little space. No offence, but you all overwhelm me, and receiving the response: Of course, take the space you need — we completely understand.

…the beauty of hearing: Hey, your behaviour hurt me because I feel stressed out and lost, and responding: Thanks for letting me know. Let’s talk about it. I never meant it that way.

…the beauty of sending a vulnerable text message, and receiving a vulnerable text message back.

…the beauty of reaching out and receiving so much more than expected.

I have always been such a hesitant person in social settings, and to some extent I still am. Yet, I’m learning and in that connection KISS is my guiding principle. I have never started an honest conversation and regretted the outcome of it. I might not always have received the response I’d hoped for, but the honesty I got has always been of so much more value.

It gave me clarity. It gave me direction. It gave me peace of mind.

The simplicity in authenticity is the most beautiful, attractive and inspiring thing I know. Let’s just talk with each other honestly. It’s as simple as that.

Let’s simply say: What you’re saying makes me feel hurt. Maybe because I feel a little off today and a little scared, but I’m not sure about what.

Let’s simply say: I feel like you’re expecting this and that from me. Is it true or am I overthinking things?

Let’s simply say: I really like you. Take it or leave it.

So many unsaid things, complicating our lives unnecessarily. Simplicity is an act of courage and openness with the potential to return us to the real world, and not the world we’ve invented in the complexity of our minds.

What else is there to say? Keep it simple, stupid.

Passionate imperfectionist, life artist, human.