Keep It Simple

“Keep it simple Sally,” my dad would say. I remember asking him who Sally was and he’d reply, “Anyone can be Sally!” As I got old enough to read the smoke-stained signs hung on the AA walls I realized Sally was not spelled S-T-U-P-I-D. Although the word changed the meaning stayed the same. I finally understood why we were all Sally but didn’t like being called stupid.

When written correctly, in expansion form, the acronym K.I.S.S. does not include a comma between the words “simple” and “stupid”. The principle originated through the US Navy in 1960 for aircraft design to be made basic enough for any mechanic to repair. “Stupid” simply refers to the relationship between the problem and the resolution. No matter the difficulties of life we face, K.I.S.S. can be a step towards resolve.

An initial reaction comes in the form of feelings when our brain processes a situation. We must then decipher what we have control over and choose to be proactive or reactive. Proactivity is about initiating change and usually brings positivity. Reactivity is usually based off emotions and although can be positive, it typically won’t bring positive change to a situation. If we focus too much on these emotions, we can get caught up in drama which complicates everything. Taking the time to choose the way we respond to life’s ups and downs can lead us in a positive direction.

Focus on the facts. The fact is the universe consists of billions of stars and galaxies. If we try to understand this, it can cause complicated feelings based on what “could” be. It’s easy to get caught up in the theories of others but the reality is unless you’ve been on a rocket and seen the end you can’t explain it. Focusing your thoughts, feelings, and actions on the facts can help keep you from reacting based off your emotions.

Take it one day at a time. “Do not worry about tomorrow, it will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.” (Matthew 6:34).  Looking to the future for planning purposes or setting goals is healthy. Worrying about tomorrow can cause fear and dwelling on yesterday can bring shame. Don’t waste today on the past or future because time is something we can never get back.

The disease of addiction can cause many complications in life that can lead all involved down a path of destruction. Taking a moment to KISS each situation can lead us down the easier and softer route.


Lori Youngblood is a recovering drug addict.  Her mission is to help others gain knowledge about the disease of addiction.