Have you ever heard the saying “Less is more”? Well this is the way that I remember it. It’s one of my favourite formulas which is why I have made it the first to be published. I love it for its simplicity. For me it’s easy to remember that ‘less than’ (<) is the same as (=) ‘more than’ (>).
Sometimes I have to remind myself that a little of something can be better than a lot of the same thing. Even if it’s a good thing. For example, if you like salt on your meal, then a little salt is great and enhances the flavour, but if you have equal parts food and salt I guarantee that you won’t enjoy it! In other words less salt equals more pleasure.
You might want to think about this when you are writing business reports or preparing presentations. How much of what you are saying is ‘padding’ to make it look like you have added some value? How many of the hours that you spend in the office are genuinely productive?
There is an apocryphal story of a philosophy exam where there was a question “What is courage?” and several blank pages attached ready for the answer. However the answer that got the top marks was simply “This is” written at the top of the first page. As I said the story does have a dubious history, but it sticks with me as a reminder that in the right circumstances less is more.
I often apply this formula to my relationship with my kids, especially when I’m about to launch into some long-winded speech or sermon. Sometimes it’s far better to just keep it brief; you may actually get listened to that way, even if you still get “whatever!” as your response.
I have loads more to say on this topic but I think I’ll leave it there!
What examples can you give where applying “Less is more” might be beneficial to you and other people?