There is no greatness where simplicity, goodness and truth are absent.

quote, picture, butterfly

“There is no greatness where simplicity, goodness and truth are absent.” ― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

I’ve not fully read the book yet but I do intend to finish it this year. My book list has grown substantially and with the busy summer, time has been against me. No more. I love reading, I love the feel, touch and smell of any good book. Books are an escape from reality but by the same token, can bring you closer to the reality that is you. Books can tell you a lot about yourself and who you want to be. They secretly expose what you long for, what you crave, what you need, even if you don’t pay attention.

This quote stuck with me, and I’ve known it even before starting the book.

quote, picture, butterfly

We don’t think about the truth behind this often enough. Simplicity is such a powerful tool in life, in work, in family, in us. The more complicated, the more complex, the less we understand, the less we can create and be greatness. We will be bogged down by the sorrow and worry of it all. A part of life we can’t always avoid but a part of life we can certainly strive to make better. Simplicity – It’s been on my mind a lot. I crave the simple things in life lately. No, don’t confuse simplicity with laziness. They are worlds apart. Life has become complicated, full of regulations, steps to take, procedures to follow. Simplicity in it’s true form makes life easy to understand and for me also is a sign of beauty and art and clarity. I can’t change the world, but I can change me. I can take one step at a time to work on the world around me and let the ripple effect work its magic. In discovering the things that I want and that truly make me happy, I’ve come to find that simplicity is a big part of what I want and crave. I also want happiness and find that a conscious effort helps that as well. I’ve started looking for simplicity, goodness and truth in my life and things that make me happy.

  • Photography
  • My Dogs
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Cooking
  • Music
  • Coffee
  • A Call
  • Sunrise and Sundown
  • Clouds
  • My Kids
  • My Husband

Photography: To me the most simplistic truths come in the form of captured moments. There is no hiding, there is no complex formula to beauty. There is simply watch, observe, be ready and click. No, I am not talking about the paid kind (even then this works) I am referring to the kind of photography that happens when you see it. You look for beauty, happiness, simple moments that evoke an emotion in your soul. What you see is what you get. The truth. Every wrinkle, smile, tear, leaf, and moment.

Together, small gestures create, hope achieved
Together, small gestures create, hope achieved

Dogs: My rescue is the best and most simple creature in my life but he makes me happy every day. He is loyal, honest and loving and expects nothing in return. His love is simple, true and good.

rescue dog

Writing: Can you lie when you write, yes you can make up anything you want. You can create a whole new world if you so choose. But even in a made up world, there can be truth and simplicity. You can bare your soul under the protection of fiction. Journaling is another beautifully simple way to be truthful if nothing else, with yourself. It’s an honest self reflection if done right.

Cooking: I love to cook. It clears my mind, it gets my creative side going since I hardly ever use recipes and often just do what feels natural. I’ve learned that often the most simple dishes, combined just right are the most successful. Sure, sometimes going all out in a complex and layered dish is fun but if you narrow it back down, even then the idea is to taste all the different flavors and find the truth behind the dish. A hint of cinnamon, a clean and light sensation, those are the dishes truths and cooked with love you’ll taste the goodness.


Music: Music is art. Art is simple. Art is beautiful. Music makes me happy. What you hear is what you get. You just need to listen. No matter how complex the classical piece is, you can simply listen while taking the emotional ride to truth.


Coffee: Yep. Coffee in it’s most pure form, brewed to perfection is simple – just coffee, no weird flavors, no steaming, nothing. Just simple, clean, crisp, flavorful, good, steaming, black liquid gold. Yes, I may be a bit addicted.

A Call: A friendly call with a friend nothing long, nothing because of an emergency, just a simple, “Hi, I thought of you today. How are you? I miss you.” Simple and truthful and great.

Sunrise and Sundown: The beauty of the predictability that it will happen, every day of our lives, there will be a sunrise and sundown (not talking to you in Alaska) but where I am haha. The joy I get out of the color play, the truth that is in the predictability, the start and end of every day is comforting.

sunset, clouds, texas,

Clouds: I just love them. I understand they are complex in their own right and not predictable like a sunrise or sundown or the moon and the stars but they are mesmerizing. Their shapes, their uniqueness, simply makes me smile. And therein can truth and simplicity be found.

My kids: If you think I’m crazy at this point, I get it. It took me a bit to find the simplicity myself. Kids are complicated and messy and all over the place. They require a lot out of their parents and their siblings and just everyone around. But I’ve been watching and listening and when you sit back and do just that, you’ll learn that there is a lot of truth and simplicity (in a good way). They love you and tell you all the time. They tell you when they are mad, and angry and happy and sad. They describe the world as they see it and as they learn it to be. They question life with refreshing simplicity and truth. The truth in your children is simple. They love you, they’ll tell you how they feel and they’ll let you know how they see the world if you just ask. You may learn some truth yourself. And you love them. Truthfully and simple with all your heart.


My husband: I’d never dare to call the complex and thoughtful person that is my husband simple. EVER. He has layers upon layers and I am lucky to know him and his layers. I am happy he has let me in to his mind, his thoughts and his world. His emotions and feelings and his concerns and worries. That being said, he is truthful – If I ask, he will tell. He thinks a lot, is in his head debating and arguing for and against scenarios and some days he is lost in thoughts. As I wrote before, I am an INFJ – Highly introverted.. well, my husband is an INTJ.. also highly introverted. A thinker, debater and he thrives on simple truths. No overcomplicating what’s at hand. A master mind in debate, he can simplify and concept and end the confusion. It is refreshing on so many levels. He is my simple truth. My love  is true, my love is pure and therefore greatness.

my love, my husband

These are just some of my thoughts, for my personal life as I know it right now. I can say though, that this quote holds true for life as a whole. No greatness can be achieved in a workplace when processes, workflows and ideas become complicated and unnecessarily complex. No greatness is achieved through untruthfulness in the long run. It may appear to work but never does. There is a reason for the saying “The Truth will set you free”

If everyone strives just a little bit to be more honest, more simplistic and straightforward, I truly believe we can create a positive change. A more efficient, happier and noble life.

Authenticity comes to mind as I re-read my post. What are your thoughts?


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