Thursday, August 27, 2009

The KISS Principle

I first heard the idea of the KISS principle in college, one of my professors mentioned it in reference to our term paper: Keep It Simple, Stupid!. It got stored away in some dusty corner of my brain, along with what I considered to be other, non-essential information and was there waiting for me to re-discover it when I was ready to really understand what it was.

I've discovered that keeping things simple is really one of the keys to happiness. Bigger isn't better. Less is more. Yep, keep it simple, stupid! I think the last word is there because it seems so blatantly obvious; we think we understand what it's saying, but perhaps it takes 4 decades of living under your belt to really "get it". At least that is how long it has taken me.

It started without my realizing it, a downshifting of the household to make things more streamlined. I hadn't realized I was making things more complex than they needed to be! Once the lightbulb went on and I had that "a-ha" moment I was able to see many things in my daily life that were superfluous and unnecessary. All that junk that we're storing in the basement in case we need it? Guess what- it's been there for 15 years and hasn't been touched. Common sense would tell us that we're not going to be using it if we haven't already. Why keep it?

We're programmed to hang on to things, some of us more than others, but this is just one example of how we are sometimes our own worst enemies and make things more difficult on ourselves because we're unable to break our old patterns and habits. Not an easy task, let me tell you, but slowly and surely I'm trying to look at all aspects of how I live and simplify, simplify, simplify. Less possessions, less purchasing, less products, less chemicals, less clutter = more happiness. And isn't happiness what it's all about?