Is Simplicity the Key to Brilliance?

Actor Bruce Lee once stated, “Simplicity is the key to brilliance.”

Let it sink in. Chew on it. Ponder it. Let your  mind puncture it.

What do you think? Are simple acts the ultimate pass to brilliant and amazing ideas and actions?  Is simplicity the secret recipe to success and utmost amazingness? Is that all it takes? A simple remedy to conquer what we all hope to achieve?

Lady Gaga didn’t think so.

I went and chewed on this quote, long and leisurely, like a cow’s cud. And I decided I like and dislike it.  In many ways, simplicity is brilliance.  But in many other ways, simplicity is most definitely not the only branch to brilliance.

In fashion, simplicity is and is not brilliance. In my opinion, simple is more with an outfit. Less is more. But I live in a town where tractors drive on the side of the road. But on the runway in New York Fashion week simplicity is not brilliance. We as consumers simplify the outrageous outfits.  If models were walking down the cat walk with a button up white tee and shorts, where would we find inspiration? Where would we see art? How would we create our own brilliance? We want complexity in fashion. We want difficulty and most importantly, we want to transform the vagueness into something clear for us. We want to interpret it. If everything was simplistic, there would be no room for interpretation which is important for everyone. In order to evolve and understand.  In fashion, Alexander McQueen did not embrace simplicity, dullness, monotonous, bald, and dry work. He embraced the opposite of simplicity; because he affected people. In fashion, simplicity remains unaffected. Brilliant fashion is luxurious and elaborate.

Brilliance goes further than simplicity in expressing yourself. Especially in Hollywood.  Look at celebrities; Lady Gaga did not exceed simplicity and she has gone the farthest in brilliance than many others.  Same goes for Elvis, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears. You can’t remain tucked in a simple and dark corner to be known and to voice out.  You will be plain. You won’t be noticed.  And I think we should get credit as individuals to embrace ourselves.  Every one of us is different, and in difference we seek something beyond simplicity. Simplicity is safe and homely. Brilliance is beyond our comfort zone and true to ourselves.  Look where stepping out of simplicity took Rosa Parks, the 1980 Olympian hockey team, Martin Luther King. . .the road against simplicity took them to a place they could believe in.

In advertising, simplicity can be key in a cluttered world.  Words should be simple, communication should be simple.  But ideas? Brilliant ideas never engulf full simplicity. The only simplicity in advertising should be in the truth of a brand and it’s upright message.  People should remember a message or an idea for utmost success in advertising. And remembering one message in a world of millions, something beyond simplicity should be attained.

All in all, it seems there should be a modest mix of both simplicity and complexity. But I know for a fact, simplicity isn’t the only one-day-pass to brilliance.  Because you need more than a simpleness to catapult yourself into a lifetime of brilliance.  Have ambition, be different, embrace your simplistic attributes but don’t look back when you lose a little innocence.  Bask in the experience of a non-simplistic life.

Like legendary hockey coach, Herb Brooks once said; “You can’t be common, the common man goes nowhere; you have to be uncommon.”

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Categories: Life & Happiness


University of Saint Thomas graduate. Minnesota-bred and happy to talk about the weather any time you’d like! Strongly believes any situation can be bettered by a slice of generously buttered toast or Phil Dunphy. Would get arrested to touch Justin Timberlake’s face. Always trying to be a better person by not wishing horrible karma on people driving slow in the fast lane. Hear more: @twitter @instagram


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One Comment on “Is Simplicity the Key to Brilliance?”

  1. June 28, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    This post rules! How in the world would we get inspired if people didn’t step way outside the box?

    God bless Lady Gaga. I’m seeing her on Friday. Squee 😀

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