Simple is hard: what do you live your life by?

I know you are here because you are looking for a lesson in philosophy. I know opinion is cheap.

But I would like to share with you a few things that I have learned. Some of it through blogging, but mostly just as I grow older and wiser.

These thoughts were penned on a recent flight, which I always use this as thinking time – there is something about the lack of space and oxygen – and I hope there is at least one that strikes chord.

I am reading Made to Stick (C&D Heath) which is about what makes ideas ‘sticky’. Aphorisms/ proverbs are held up as an example of ideas that have been stripped to their core, which equates to it being SIMPLE. Doing simple is hard, it is much easier to obfuscate.

One-liners and clichés don’t always get the credit they deserve; particularly those that have stood the test of time. So if you will indulge me for a moment, let’s share some thoughts/ questions and insights; which I hope are simple enough distillations of some underlying truth:

  1. If you are unloved, do you exist?

  2. Do you also want to go where the world runs out of maps?

  3. When you carry a map you lose the journey.

  4. When you are old enough to yearn for moments past, you are old enough to learn that nothing lasts.

  5. If you never bend, you will someday break. If you always bend, you will never grow.

  6. Footsteps are more uniquely you than fingerprints.

  7. To make a journey you must strep onto the road, To make a footprint, you must momentarily stop.

  8. Good things come from striking the right balance between wanting more and being more.

  9. Life’s arc: When you are born you know and hope for nothing, it expands, then shrinks again to nothing as you lie on your deathbed.

  10. Happiness is the difference between what you have and what you want. (Rather than chasing the one, accept the other…)


What have YOU learned in the last few years?

What is the one lesson/mantra you love your life by?

Looking forward to some comments here – and will re-post with attribution.

Have a go… (and that is lesson #11)


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