While in the midst of trying to reclaim years of information and multimedia artifacts recently lost, I’ve also been prompted to refresh my resume (one of the items lost was an updated version of it stored both as a HTML5 document and in a TiddlyWiki). What’s been most interesting is how the I’m having to reassess how I’ve gone about simplifying in the past, and how I need to better define that term if I’m to continue to go forward.

What hit me not too long after spending many hours on that resume editing session (there was a lot to fix and address), was that term simplifying. It really is a crafty term because its a continual term. Developers like to throw around the term iteration or the phrase iterative development, because there’s this sense in using the word that you are always going forward. Simplifying though is a bit different. We usually hear that word and think simple, not-as-intelligent, Apple (zing), and slowing down almost to the point of moving backwards. I don’t get that with how that term came up today though. It had more of a shifting definition towards the moment… one where I could easily pen a new, more applicable definition:

restraint merged w(pro)active discipline and creativity

To simplify first has to mean that you are taking some kind of choice towards restraining former freedoms. Whether its willingly or imposed, it factors first into the idea that there’s more possible under the hood, but I’ll not exercise more because its not in the best interest of the moment.

Simplicity that works is best described as being proactive. Pro – meaning for or forward, usually in the context of positive. Active – in the sense of movement, or a change of something with potential [energy] to something that has activity. Engaging in this process of editing my resume, I had to think a good bit more proactively towards the goals of a resume/cv, and how it would be received. And to be blunt, I’ve got a lot of information on it – I’ve got to think about the people reading it, just as much as I’m letting it play the role of a professional biography of sorts.

And finally there’s creativity. I don’t know that we can get away from being creative in all pursuits. I do know that creativity is in part a choice. We choose to do things with a beauty, with a form, with a sense of emotion because it works and works best to convey who we are. If we aren’t being creative, and that’s a term that is both inwardly and outwardly defined, then we are limiting ourselves to the anarchy of whatever instead of the discipline of purpose.

I write all of this because I needed to get it out of my head, and in some way I hope to get you to think a little bit more about that next decision that you are coming to. Whether its a new device, new job, new family member, or just a change from the norm. Try to think about it through this lens of simplifying and see what becomes of that moment. You might find out that its nothing more than a better road to a personal nirvana.