When Less is More

By May 20, 2016Leadership

In conversations over the past several weeks, I’ve discovered a recurring thread. Maybe it’s God trying to get my attention. He does that from time to time.

The thread I’ve noticed is actually a theme or a principle. To put it in simple terms, there are times when less is more.

If you cook much, you know that you can always add more water or spice or whatever — but it’s nearly impossible to take it out once you put it in. Add too much water too soon and the entire thing might be ruined. Start with a little. You can always add more.

In sales we know that confusion and paralysis occur whenever the number of options increase. You might think that more options would equal more sales but the opposite is often the case. It’s easier to make a selection when options are limited; too many options and the buyer can’t make up his mind.

Artists know this. The creative use of white space enhances the rest of the picture. Too many details will overwhelm your audience.

Musicians don’t mix every instrument and vocalist at the same level.

Good writers will choose five strong words over fifteen mediocre ones.

In public speaking, the ability to be concise increases the overall impact. I once had a wise fellow tell me, “The mind can only absorb what the seat can endure.” In other words, a speech doesn’t have to be eternal to be immortal.

A laser will cut more effectively than a flood light.

This idea that less is more is actually quite universal. It’s as true in finances as in art or business. Goal setters will reach more goals over time if they pursue fewer at the same time.

What area of life do you need less in order to experience more?