The Paragon of Simplicity

How to navigate between authenticity and wishful thinking.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

One of the things that really bothers me when I’m surfing the Internet is when people write articles that are loaded with meaningless information or when a level of complexity is introduced from the inception and is deliberately incorporated into a piece in order to, I surmise, deliberately hide the fact that there is either no substance whatsoever in what the author has to say or, more perniciously, that they are trying, quite hard, to warp a potential truth.

Simplicity, I posit, is key, or should be key, in any attempt to write meaningfully about any topic. To convey truth authentically is to describe a thing in simple terms. Simple doesn’t, however, mean simplistic. Simple means not complicated or convoluted.

Here are five warning signs that what you’re reading makes no sense and that you should stop:

1. You don’t understand what the author is trying to say from the get go.

2. They use complex terms to mask the fact that what they have to say has no substance.

3. The author uses technological terms that fly above your head.

4. The more you read, the less you understand.

5. You feel guilty for continuing to read and continuing not to understand, in spite of persistent efforts.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, it would be best to stop reading and move on since what you’re reading is probably a fabrication of some sort or other.

Simplicity, in the end, can be a very effective “tool” to differentiate between authenticity and its opposite. Points that are simply stated, corroborated and make sense are probably true. Simplicity is intimately tied to originality because things that are clear and purposeful are, essentially, a relief to the heart, mind and soul. There’s a “freshness” about them which is genuine.

The opposite of simplicity is a poor imitation. Those who cannot create or who are incapable of originality copy others. They do so because they are incapable of being inspired or connecting to truth or authenticity. To say that the physical world cannot exist without a spiritual reality first “standing behind it” (and many have asserted this, e.g., the Mayans, Plato and the Matrix film), is to say that anything “substantial” that has no spiritual backing is unreal.

Performing this kind of an analysis comes dangerously close to discerning fact from fiction. There are consequences to realizing that something you’re emphatically told over and over again is true actually isn’t. You may feel angry and this will certainly be followed by a sense of loss. Or you, may simply (no pun intended) choose to continue believing something that “just ain’t so.”

As we operate in an age of increased blogging, a deluge of information and difficulty navigating between authenticity and wishful thinking, it’s important to draw on the Simplicity Tool. Here are the five signs of simplicity in texts:

1. I do not feel pain when reading.

2. The article flows and the pieces work together.

3. There is purpose in what the author says.

4. The author is working within a known context.

5. The actors are known and the source trusted.

If all the above criteria are met, you are on your way to being genuinely, and simply, connected to authenticity .


Image credit:

Originally published at

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Never Underestimate The Power Of Simplicity

by Lori McNeil / Shutterstock
Work Smarter//

What Our Body Clocks Can Tell Us About the Way We Work

by Julia Hobsbawm

Keep It Simple

by Corin Ryda

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.