Friday, May 15, 2015

Problem-solving from a new point of view

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

When confronted with something that needs "fixing", I think the human race is hard-wired to add something to the situation:

  • another memo
  • another study
  • another throw cushion
  • more salt
  • another coat of polish
etc. etc.

But what if you considered the possibility of removing something, instead?

There have to be almost as many "remove" possibilities as there are "add" ideas.

This could double your possible solutions.

And we haven't even considered the possibility of just leaving things be, as they are...


Looking Back:



  1. My mother always said once you have applied your jewelry and think you are done, remove a piece. Less is often more.

  2. And specially important when we think of our activities. Instead of adding another class, therapy, charity, reading club, sports group, etc, how about opening up time for yourself?

  3. I agree with Beatriz. Our modern world is so focused on the next text or post or email. The real art is to slow down and let it be.

    Deb from Vancouver

  4. I can think of about a zillion cases where this is true. one of my faves: when one of my friends was left by her chronically unfaithful husband (who took half the furniture and housewares), she said "At least the house looks better."

  5. I have "considered the possibility of removing something, instead."
    I am removing my house from my life. Then I'll have close to perfection.

  6. Your comments reminded me of my working days - the corporate answer to everything was another meeting! I wish I could have all those hours back...
    Anyway, yes, wise words that could be applied to a closet, an outfit, a menu, a calendar, a lifestyle. I would replace "perfection" with joy or tranquility - we each fill it in as we please.

  7. Minimalism ... and "Less is (often) more." Thanks, Janice.

  8. Dearest Janice, this post really hit home for me. In my mid-thirties, I modeled for a wonderful artist (the Philadelphia Museum of Art displayed some of his lithographs), and I asked him how he knew when a work was finished (i.e., perfect), and he said, "I know when adding the smallest brush stroke would diminish everything I have done."

    Cheers, M-T

  9. Yes. I am a great fan of deleting extra activities in order to have much-needed quiet time.

  10. I love this post, Janice. I've stopped reading blogs that my feed sends me which are wholly "Whee, I Got (Another)...", and am strict about the something in = something out rule. As the child of a Depression-era mother, getting rid of something "perfectly good" is still hard, though!

  11. This is also great advice when composing a picture. Sometimes Less is More. Photographer Friend