The Life-Changing Magic of Simple Ideas

February 01, 2021

Where are society's best ideas found?

We fetishize the intellectual weight of colossal academic texts, but few of us actually like to read them. You get your scholarly gold star, but ideas are worthless without impact.

To be great means to be comprehensible. To be great means to be simple.

Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a great book. It's also a simple book and can be summarized with "keep only what sparks joy." The prose is simple and the messages clear.

But just because an idea can be stated simply doesn't mean it can't be profound.

The KonMari method isn't a manual on cleaning. Rather, it asks the reader to recontextualize their experience in their home and reshape it to become an instrument of pure joy. This journey requires examining what "joy" really means and begs the reader to pair a purification of mind with their purification of space.

Unpacking the message doesn't require keeping complicated ideas in your head or untangling unwieldy metaphors, it just requires that you really listen to what Kondo is saying.

Great ideas NEED to be simple, otherwise they won't penetrate. Even before the internet ruined our attention spans, the more work required to internalize an idea, the smaller its reach.

Clarity is a superpower.


© 2020 Connor Daly