I received this story recently from my dear friend and mentor Dr. Jim Sellner and thought I would share it as it demonstrates my “Simpler Is Better” motto very, very well.

Back when NASA started launching manned spacecraft in the 1960s, they found out that the astronauts couldn’t use pens to write with while in space.

The ink wouldn’t flow down through the pen in a zero-gravity environment. NASA decided to retain a man named Paul Fisher to design a pen that would work in space.

A mere $1.5 million later, they had a solution.

NASA now had a pen that worked in zero-gravity, in a vacuum, and in a drastic temperature range.

The Russian cosmonauts had the same problem, of course.

So they used a pencil.

This story isn’t historically accurate. Truth is, both the US and Russia used pencils at first. Paul Fisher independently created the pen and sold 400 of them to NASA for a song.

The reason the exaggerated story is so widely embraced, though, is because it rings true.

We often expend large amounts of time and effort looking for elaborate solutions to problems when a simple answer is right under our noses.

What’s that got to do with winning the game of business? Everything.

Leap of the week: Yield to at least one simple solution that will make your life easier.

Cheers to simplicity!

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