Why do us humans complicate things so easily?
Without effort we project irrational and sometimes nasty gods into earth, wind, and fire while inventing wild myths and tall stories to explain every aspect of reality which surrounds us.
Can we not just take note of things as they are? “Look, a thing-a-ma-bob!”
There is no doubt that deciphering the stuff that is going on around us presents a challenge but automatically complicating things seems to be in our intrinsic nature and it is this compulsion to convolute that Occam’s razor was designed to cut down to size.
When You Hear Hoofbeats, Think Horses, Not Zebras
This notion of simplification can be traced back twenty-four hundred years to the time of Aristotle but most recent literature blames the theory on a Franciscan friar going by the moniker William of Ockham. Today, we appropriately acknowledge the good friar’s efforts through a short and sweet acronym known far and wide as: KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid.
In fact, the need to keep things simple is so great that it is even drilled into the minds of medical school interns through admonishments against seeing Zebras when looking at horses. Just like anyone else, physicians run the risk of transferring their complicated worldview into the situations they face every day.
Use Occam’s Razor To Cut To The Chase
With that in mind, here are a couple of ways to employ Occam’s Razor in your life:
- Silence! – reflect daily how you can produce the same or more with less. Few folks ever contemplate higher returns with less investment but healthy evolution demands just that.
- The Fat Slashers – identify wasted resources and wasteful activities though regular contests. Reward folks who run counter to the “more is better” concept of business as usual.
- Big Idea Free Zone – erect a mental moat around your home to cut your brain some simple slack. Purposefully blocking out the complications of striving will provide a safe place for your “just living” psyche to rest and grow.
Sam Simpleton Says
In this faster, better world it is easy to forget that the best things in life are plain and plentiful.
Basking in the deep love of someone we hold dear or embracing the sheer joy of an early morning stroll through nature – these are the unpretentious and often ignored pleasures of our existence.
They require no complicated explanation or description, only the recognition that the best things in life are indeed simple and free.
And Occam’s razor will help you find them.
Thank you, friend.
PS. To learn more about this fascinating subject, copy and past this link into your browser.