Sometimes, Less is More

I know you’ve heard the saying “less is more”, a phrase adopted in 1947 by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe several times but do you agree with it?

Less is More simply means that which is simple and clear is more appreciated than that which is complicated. It suggests that there is value in simplicity and that more can be accomplished with less. Less is more means moderation beats excess. It means a little goes a long way. It implies that the less, the better. It means brevity is more effective. It means the less you say is more appreciated.

When we know something or can do something, we always want the world to know or see it. So, It’s normal to want to show off, show what you’re capable of doing, impress people, ‘tension them’, etc but do you know where to draw the line? Have you ever felt like you’re doing the most or wondered if people thought you were doing too much? Have you ever wondered why you are always stressed and if you’re overworking yourself? If you have, then you most likely are. It’s a good thing to show your capabilities but it is also important to know when to do only what is necessary and required. Every Minimalist will agree that less is more since the essence of the lifestyle is about living with less.

“When you are tired, stressed, or overwhelmed, the solution is almost always… less. Get rid of something. Lots of somethings.”

The less is more principle no longer only depicts simplicity as it is widely applied to all spheres of life. You see quotes like,
“Talk less, Listen more”
“Smile more, Worry less”
“Think less, Do more”
“More actions, Less excuses”
“Pray more, Worry less”
“Judge less, Accept more”
“Expect less, Give more”

However, less is not always more. I believe less can be less sometimes. I also believe more can be necessary too and not just any “less” is the right “more.” Just because less is more is widely celebrated does not mean you have to always choose less. Less can be a bore and if you always choose less, you end up losing out on all the more. For instance, if you have to prove yourself at work and you keep delivering mediocre work without pushing yourself, your appraisal will be horrible and you may be asked to leave. You will end up not adding value to yourself and the organization.

Nonetheless, less is more in the context of simplicity and clarity. When we focus on doing less and well, we are more organized and we produce greater results.

You may not want to say too much about your product in your marketing campaign instead, you simply show what it does.

You may not have 100,000 followers on Instagram but this means that you can focus on building a community with your followers and engaging them.

You may not have countless customers but this means you can focus on providing exceptional customer service to the ones you have.

You may not know how to do a mean face beat but this means you can let your face breathe.

You may not want to wear the colourful dress with all the layers and this means you get to wear what you’re comfortable in.

You may not have many clothes in your closet but this can mean you get to focus on using what you have to show how stylish you are.

You may not be able to exercise every day but you have been able to keep up with an exercise routine thrice a week for six months. 

Sometimes, less is more and sometimes, more is good.

Mariam Shittu

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