Simplicity, Simplicity, Simplicity

I was listening to an episode of Public Radio International’s,  To the Best of our Knowledge, as I was driving today. The topic was Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. The host, Jim Fleming, read the following from the book, “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand… We are happy in proportion to the things we can do without.”

The little voice, that always seems to have opinions, said, “That’s nice, but that’ just not realistic”. I know that Thoreau is right, and I have great familiarity with the logic of the voice. I realized that the challenge, for me, is feeling that I have to make a leap to absolute simplicity in one jump. I know it’s a journey and the more I simplify, the more I learn about simplicity.

So, I invite you to join me, if only for one day, in taking one step towards simplicity. What I did, as I was writing this, was to consider something in my life that seemed very complicated. The first thing that came up was that I have so many unfinished manuscripts. I have written here that I have started many books. These incomplete works grab my attention from time to time. I know the distraction of having a life filled with many incompletions.

So, what I did was to put all of them, save one, away. I will only put my attention on that one until it is either complete or I choose to walk away from it. Tomorrow, I will ask myself again this question, “What in my life seems complicated?”  I will then look at the strongest answer I received with an eye for simplification.

I’m already feeling lighter. Let go of complexity. Let simplicity be your guide.


Author: Thomas White

Over the past thirty-five years, Thomas White has created and led private and public organizations that initiated breakthroughs in areas as diverse as computer software, publishing, printing, market research, leadership development and organizational change. The common ingredients in his success are simple. He looked beyond the limitations that others believed and found real solutions to needs that business leaders have. He attracted the best talent to translate these innovative solutions into practical products and services that were of high value to customers. He created cultures where people love what they do, work at their best and produce extraordinary results. In addition to his role as a business leader, Thomas has been a pioneer and inventor of technologies in the computer-networking field. He is a patent holder for innovations in business process and workflow technology. As part of his passion for educating others about the interface of human and computer systems, he was the co-author of “New Tools for New Times, The Workflow Paradigm”. He has also written articles for numerous publications. In 2001, he turned his attention from leading companies to supporting leadership teams in creating organizations of excellence. After many years of being a part of the machine of change, Thomas recognized that business is the most powerful force in the world. It has a major impact on public policy and governments everywhere. It is a key influence on how we use our resources and sets an example of the values that shape communities from local to global. He formed the consulting firm of Profoundly Simple to be a guide for exemplary leaders - leaders who wisely uses the power they are entrusted with to serve their constituencies first and themselves second; leaders who know that it is good business to treat people with respect, honor the environment and act with impeccable integrity – leaders who inspire greatness in those around them and by doing so create great organizations that are notable examples of success. Feeling the itch to get back into the game again, Thomas joined with two long time friends, to start the C-Suite Network. This network of business leaders offers an online network, events, services, and insights to its 500,000 member community. In addition, the C-Suite Network produces and distributes television and radio content to an audience of over 5M per month

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