Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication

Work effectively and efficiently

    Since my younger days at university, I have had a lot of funny and weird problems related to my complex mind.  Whenever I talk with someone about something, I always get the same exact response: “What do you mean?” If you ever get the same question from people around you, there's a 50/50 chance that you will like this article. And what if you never get this kind of question? Should you read this article too? Yes! Because there’s also a 50/50 chance that you will like this article too! See? Pretty simple and easy to understand, right? 

    What do you mean?

    So, what is the meaning of ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’? I don’t know either, haha. I have the ideas and the concepts inside my mind but it’s really hard to find a unique and interesting title for my article, so I just picked some cool and interesting title from Google. But it worked perfectly, right? Because you are reading this article right now! Kidding!

    Let’s forget about the title and just focus on the main concept of this article, ok? Well, it means simplicity is better than complexity if you want to make your life more productive and fun. How? I didn’t really know how, because my life is not that productive or fun back then (maybe even your life is more productive and fun than me, so don’t be sad). But now, my life is far better than before in many ways. Now I can smile a few millimeters bigger than before, also I'm getting fatter day by day now. That’s the meaning of ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’, pretty neat and easy to understand right? If you still don’t understand it or think I'm a crazy person, don’t worry because in the next chapter I will explain it more clearly so even a grandpa can understand it easily without too much problem.

    Grandpa the old man gesture strength we can do it

    Be Effective, Be happy!

    What’s the connection between effectiveness and happiness? If you become more productive and effective at your job or life, you can have more free time to spend on your hobbies or dreams. I mean it’s better to watch Game of Thrones on Netflix for 5 hours than just 2 hours, right? So now, do you see the connection? If yes, then you are not normal at all. But if you still don’t understand it, don’t worry because it means you are a normal person with a sane mind and will have a bright future ahead. In the next chapter, I will give you a greater insight and more examples about ‘simplicity vs complexity’. And don’t forget to prepare your mind and heart for the next chapter, because there will be  a lot of technical stuff in the next chapter! 

    Simplicity vs Complexity

    Let’s start to get into the main point of this article, no more funny business! So, in this chapter I will show a few examples about the topic that I had explained in the previous chapter. The first example is related to my job as a junior software developer. As a software developer (especially junior software developer), I always have a problem with deadlines almost every month and it’s not fun at all. I tried so hard to find simple solutions or approaches to all these problems as best as I could, but it always turned out to be very complicated and complex in the end. 

    For example, there’s one time when my team created a mobile application for sales and purchases. And I’m the one that got the job to create the application from scratch and it turned out to be a failure because the mobile application turned out to be really laggy when we tried to use it. So I needed to find the reason why it was laggy and to fix it as fast as I could because it was almost time for us to show this mobile application to our client for testing. So I spent days or maybe weeks trying to find the culprit behind this problem and until the end I still couldn’t find it. I checked my codes and changed a lot of things but it’s still laggy. Then finally one of my co-worker (and a friend) offered me some kind of help and of course I accepted it because I almost gave up at that point. He’s really good with codes so I believed he could find the reason behind this problem soon. After a few weeks, he fixed it and the mobile application finally ran so smoothly and fast. Of course I was curious and asked him about it, so he explained everything to me. 

    Let’s look at it together, shall we? To make it easier to understand, let’s imagine that you are shopping on eBay or Amazon. You can see a list of products that you can buy, right? And then you can add it to your shopping cart. Then after you pay, you will receive the receipt or payment confirmation on your screen or email, right? Now imagine if you try to add a product to your shopping cart but it takes a very long loading time until the product enters your shopping cart. Based on your perspective, what went wrong with the website? What could possibly cause this lag or delay? Ok, I will give you a few seconds to think about it and don’t worry about your answer because there’s no wrong answer and I won’t punish you for a wrong answer (with the assumption that you really want to waste your time thinking about this useless question).    

                                                                                                                                                Late - Running Clock Cartoon

    Time’s up. Let’s review my answer! Wait, how about your answer? Then make your own article about it! Ok, let’s continue to a more serious discussion. In my case, I thought maybe there was some problem with the process of adding products to the shopping cart. So I checked it and it wasn’t the problem. Then I thought maybe there was something wrong with my mouse, so I checked it too! But my mouse was fine but it was kinda dirty inside. And then finally I thought maybe there was a problem with my internet, maybe my modem was too old so it won’t give me maximum connection to access eBay/Amazon. But it wasn’t the culprit too, so I was really confused and almost gave up. Until someone helped me with this problem and everything was fixed. 

    Are you still curious about the answer? If yes, then you are a very patient person and I like it! If no and you felt bored then I’m sorry. I’m not really good at talking with humans and that's why I became a programmer because it’s easier to talk with machines than talk with humans. So, there are 2 answers that are connected to each other:

    1. There’s a problem with the way the website loaded the products data into their website. The website should just load the products data once but in this case the website always loads the products data whenever we click a button (that’s why the website always lags or freezes when we click a button!

    2. It won’t be a problem if there’s only a small number of products that we need to show on the website. But in this case, there’s hundreds or even thousands of products that need to be loaded into the website. So you can imagine how laggy it will be


      Businessman is confusing and thinking with question marks sign

    What do you think after reading the answer? Did you get confused like the man at the top? Or, did you also think of the same answer? If you found the same answer, then you are a very amazing person with a simple and direct mind! I mean, it looks easy right? But I bet there’s a lot of people out there that never even consider this as an answer (including me). It’s really amazing how people can miss a simple solution like this. Are you still confused? Me too! So let’s use another example to make everything more clear!

    Fun Example

    Let’s imagine that you were at your friend’s party and your friend asked you to sing for him. At this moment, what would you do? What’s the simple way to do it? For some people, it’s not a problem because they can do it without too much problem and still be happy about it. But some of us will have a problem with it. So, what should we do? Should we sing? What will we sing? Pop or Jazz or Rock? Will our friends like our voice? What if they don’t like it? Will someone record it and put it on Youtube? 

    Let’s admit it, most of us will be trapped in this kind complex thinking. And what if we decide not to sing? Again, most of us will be trapped in the same kind of complex thinking too! Will my friend be angry at me because I refuse to sing?  They won’t invite me again to their party, right? They are laughing right now, are they laughing about me? And more, more, and more. So what should we do to make sure we won’t be trapped in this kind of complex thinking? Nothing!


    You may wonder why I said there’s nothing to do in the previous example. Why? Because the problem wasn’t related to your actions but it’s related to your mind. So it doesn’t matter if you choose to sing or you choose not to sing or any other choices. As long as your mind works at the ‘complex’ stage,  you will always end up in this kind of complex thinking again and again. But we can’t really blame ourselves or our parents! Because it’s humans survival instinct, humans tend to think about everything in the most accurate and complicated ways possible to avoid danger. Even a simple thing like choosing to sing or not can make some of us trapped in this kind of complicated and complex thinking that will drain our precious time and soul.

    So how can we make our life more fun and simple? Stop overthinking! Overthinking might be a good trait in the past when humans still lived in nature and faced many dangerous obstacles (animals, natural disasters, etc). In that time, you could die if you don’t think everything carefully and approach everything with all possible outcomes. But right now, it’s a different time and different conditions and yet humans are still trapped in the same trait like our ancestors.

    Can we change this trait? Not fully, but we can try to suppress it little by little so it only appears in the most desperate times in our life. So after hundreds of useless words and bad jokes that I forced you to read, this’s the real meaning of this article = “Just stop overthinking and your life will be more productive and happy”. Pretty simple right? Why can’t I just say it from the beginning and skip all these nonsense texts and jokes? Well, because it’s fun to make people read my useless article and jokes. So I’m not the only one that wasted my time writing all these stupid jokes and weird texts, at least you also waste your time with me! So yeah, just continue your days without overthinking!

    Final Conclusion

    So, did this article help you to change your life into a better life? A more fun and happy life? I doubt it, because I don’t really know how to do that either because I don’t have a good and happy life yet. But at least this article helped you smile a couple of times right? If yes, then I’m happy with it and it proved that I didn’t waste my time for nothing! You should stop looking for ways to make you happy, the only way you can be happier and productive with your life is by appreciating yourself and just enjoy every moment in your life without overthinking it. It might be hard but I believe you can do it too after reading this article! (Or maybe not, because of how bad this article is). Anyways, good luck with your life and thanks for reading this article (if you really read it from the beginning until the end!). Thanks