Keeping it Simple

Having spent the last 50 odd years tearing around, creating havoc with ideas, being inventive and lateral as I am. It is now time to reflect on what was/is really important and what was/is not.

I guess the single most important discovery, as my mind is willing and my body a little less, is that we need to keep things simple. Our lives are far too complicated. Particularly as we age, we want things to be clear cut and trouble-free.

A great friend of mine advised me that the most important thing in life is to spend less than you earn. An old saying, basic, but true. We rush off to the Accountant every year to find that after income, less expenses and drawings, and tax, that we are barely making headway. Maybe the smell of a new cars interior or the "flashy" ad for another world trip is too much for us mere mortals we resist. Yet with some resistance and a better financial position, we do actually feel better. Better because we feel more secure with a sense of achievement not to mention the marked reduction in financial stress.

Simple also includes everything we do. Some people love to make things complicated, which then become difficult to manage both financially and time wise. What was simple is now convoluted and at times hard to understand. A rural example of this might include going from simple all grass farming to high input and output farming. It has great output, but do the inputs of not only money and time give you a commensurate reward or have you taken a simple dairy operation and made it complicated?

I am not knocking high input farming, I am just questioning whether it is economic and simple. The best operators made it fly, but the average to poor do not.

In my own orchard there are many variables and opportunities. I have made decisions that have complicated a simple system. I admit I am in the process of unwinding all those decisions to go back to a simple input/output avocado orchard. The results will not only be more profit but much less cluttered time and that word again "simple".

Another example would always include involvement with bureaucracy. They tend to be real smart people with degrees driving Mazda 3s but always so complicated. They add layer upon layer until nobody knows what is really happening and to get anything done is a mission and must be signed off by all and sundry.

A common example would include complex real estate contracts with extraneous clauses that just complicate the simplicity of a straight forward purchase between two people.

Why can't we keep things simple? Nobody can or will make a decision when it is obscure.

When dealing with people who are working for me and with me, I encourage them to make a simple executive decision and then take action. I am a great fan of the KISS principle – keep it simple stupid!

So, with the passage of a lot of time which is reflected in a lot of experience, the single most important thing I have learnt is to keep it simple. In everything we do we need to strive for straightforwardness and the rewards of more time and resultant happiness will lead to a more enjoyable and balanced life.


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