If you want to make friends, impress people, change people's perceptions, be remembered for good and not sound like a jerk on a dinner table, always choose Elegance over Winning.
What is winning? And why we all want to win - all the time? Is it about the rush of dopamine that we get every time we make a substantial achievement or is it about proving our own worth to the society that surrounds us?
However you want to define it, the underlying fact is that we all want to win, all the time, every time and in order to make sure we do, sometimes, we end up compromising on our morals, values and more often than not, Elegance.
In the words of Matthew E. May, the author of In Pursuit of Elegance, “Elegance cuts through the noise, captures our attention and engages us. The point of elegance is to achieve the maximum impact with the minimum input. It’s a thoughtful, artful subtractive process focused on doing more and better with less. That’s especially important during this economic crisis when everyone is trying to move forward while consuming fewer resources.”
When embarking on the journey from zero to hero, it is important to placidly overcome the challenges and fears that might, at some point or another, force you to lose your elegance. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a social worker, a politician or even a writer - it is always wonderful to be elegant. It is always important to wear your grace on your sleeves.
There is nothing elegant in excess
If it’s not working for you, let go and with gentle elegance move forward! When it comes to practicing elegance in business, Toyota is one company that comes to mind and for all the right reasons. No other company does all the right things, and so well, writes Matthew May in his book "The Elegant Solution".
Being one of the most innovating companies in the history, Toyota never compromised on its principles no matter how enormous complexities were. For over a century, Toyota has worked hard to deliver products that improve quality and productivity, but with SCION, the company failed to make a mark for itself amongst the youth. In 2016, the company decided to discontinue the brand.
Lesson: If it’s not working for you, move on. The trick is to understand what to eliminate, when and how. Elegance is a process that needs to be practiced consistently to define strategies to gain the surprising power that we seek.
The healthier way to bring success in a venture is to master simplicity. For most entrepreneurs, simplicity might be a term that they rather avoid than strive for. Everyone talks about going "big". That doesn't mean adding unnecessary layers of complexities throughout the organization. Elegance thrives when processes are streamlined, well-designed and regularly maintained.
Learn from the best and see how they have embraced the "less is more" philosophy. Twitter, for instance, is one of the most elegant and simplistic platforms in today’s digital era. The character limitation compels people to communicate in clear and crisp words. What other choice do people have than to generate quality content?
Whether it's a business model, a brand name, or people you choose to network with - wherever you go, whatever you do, whoever you meet, choose wisely! Elegance demands getting engaged in conversations that help you grow as an individual. Running a business successfully involves looking at the bigger picture and more than that gracefully recognizing the success of other people. Think locally and raise the game of your business globally. Sharing your achievements is good, but knowing when and where is the real deal. Connect with people who inspire you to innovate and disregard those who have a tendency to drive you away from your goals. To find the elegance you must appreciate, embrace and think beyond complexities.
The first step to understanding the significance of elegance over winning is to develop a sense of elegance in whatever you are doing at the moment. The bottom line is to master the art of getting it right in the most simplistic manner. Elegance may not always be simple, but simple is always elegant. Companies and people that stay true to their self are always more interesting and beautiful to others.