If I’d had longer, it would have been shorter

I would not have made this so long except that I do not have the leisure to make it shorter. – Blaise Pascal

The ability to articulate a vision clearly and succinctly is something we easily take for granted. The truth is, simple is often very, very difficult and time consuming. Getting a message across can be an enormous challenge. Tragically, without a clearly stated vision, many people will misunderstand both what you say, and what you are trying to achieve. Think how damaging this could be if you are trying to lead a movement or a group of people!

Consider this – do people know what you are trying to achieve? Have those involved helped shape how it is articulated? Are others buying in to what you are trying to do?

If you want people to understand where you are going, or what you are trying to achieve, take time to make sure it’s clearly stated before getting sucked into detail that you might not actually need. Take time at the beginning of any venture to clearly state where you’re planning to go, and how you are going to get there.

Wherever possible: reduce.

Image credit: matthew poon.

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3 thoughts on “If I’d had longer, it would have been shorter”

  1. Reminds me of a talk Ewan gave in an inspiration
    session one lunchtime at the Optima. He said
    much the same thing… About simplicity not being
    the simplest thing to achieve. It’s like the toolbars
    on MS Word. Open them all and you’ve only a
    couple of cm to type in… And probably forgotten what you wanted to say!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Jaye.

      I don’t think either Ewan or I would claim that as an original thought!

      I’d always attributed ‘If I’d had longer it would have been shorter’ to Churchill, but it was interesting to see that Pascal predated him in print with the idea.

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