What do I mean by elegance? Will I spend the year in pearls and large sunglasses, lunching in fern-laden bowers whilst not perspiring? I certainly hope so. However, I primarily chose the word for its design angle.
The creative designers and developers I work with often describe concepts, code, and tools in terms of elegance–meaning the simplest, most effective answer to a problem or requirement.
Elegance encompasses attitudes and frameworks that are graceful, imaginative, and intelligent.
An elegant solution is “pleasingly ingenious” and “well-suited to its purpose.”
This is the mindset I want to cultivate this year. I do not expect that my family, work, or circumstances will become less intense or demanding (I put this blackout poem by Austin Kleon on my inspiration wall) but my attitudes can shift towards elegance. I can look for the simple, effective processes that free me up to be more effective. I can respond graciously. When it comes to problems and sticking points, I can be resourceful and astute. And hopefully I can learn to be pleasingly ingenious, rather than annoyingly so.
In the technical sense, elegance is not a once-and-done state, it’s an iterative process. And that’s true of people, too. It doesn’t matter if I was cut out for the work at hand. I’m becoming well-suited for my purpose.
I’ve been choosing a word of the year since 2011. Things never turn out as I expect, but I can look back on these themes and see how I have learned and grown in interesting ways through the exercise.
- 2017 – Love is the horse
- 2016 – Hush
- 2015 – Double down
- 2014 – Grace
- 2013 – Connect
- 2012 – Brilliant
- 2011 – Risk
My word for 2018 is elegance. What’s yours?