Vivian: “Whoah, whoah, whoah, that’s vandalism, assault.”

Mike: “You know, I’m happy that you put it that way because that’s exactly what we’re going to be charging your client with.”

If you’ve watched the famous series called Suits based on lawyers and how they worked, this popular scene steals the show. Mike Ross worked at a leading law firm and was tasked with winning his first housing case. In the world of lawyers, housing cases were considered the easiest cases to win.

However, Mike was nervous and his fears of not performing in his first solo case were going to cost him his job. This further complicated things for him as he let his fear get to him.

He ended up speaking out of turn, didn’t answer the judge when he was asked a question, and didn’t know how to argue his case.

Mike could not crack it at the first hearing. In fact, he embarrassed himself in front of the judge and the prosecuting lawyer, Vivian Tanaka.

Judge: (Bangs gavel) “Eviction upheld!”

Mike: “But your Honor, he…”

Judge: “Did you see me bang the gavel? That means, step aside. Next case…”

Vivian: Grins at Mike “You never forget your first.”

But before he could prove his client’s innocence (a tenant) in court for not paying the rent on time, he had to prove the landlord’s deviousness. And the only way he could do that was by going back to the basics.

“Things get complicated before they get easier.”

Dejected, Mike goes back to the firm and sits in his cubicle worried about his future in the company. But as he gives up on pursuing an already defeated case, he is reminded by Louis Litt, a partner at the firm, of an important yet simple lesson.

Louis Litt: “But I still expected you to win. So yeah, I guess, go back to your research. Maybe that is your niche.”

Mike: (smiling) “Maybe it is.”

Although a harsh taunt, Louis unexpectedly helps Mike realize the simplicity of it all. If you can’t understand something because it looks like a dead end, you haven’t yet simplified it enough. Mike was not looking at the problem from all sides as he only saw one side. His client did not pay the rent because the landlord refused to solve the bed bug issue in the apartment. But there was more to it that was deliberately concealed.

Mike heads back to the basics of researching the case again. He sees the photographs taken at the properties that the landlord previously owned and notices something. That’s when he solves the case.

So, he goes back with his boss Harvey Specter to meet Vivian, the prosecutor who is with her client, the landlord. He takes out an old, dusty piece of carpet and spreads it on the floor in front of Vivian and the landlord. The landlord gets agitated and stands up, telling Mike to put that carpet away, which is when Mike reveals his trump card.

Landlord: “What are you doing? Make him get that out of here.”

Mike to Vivian: “He didn’t just fail to eradicate a bed bug infestation, he actually created one. Yeah, he pulled the carpet from one of his old buildings, a carpet that was already infested and then he reinstalled it in my client’s apartment to drive him out.”

Landlord: (in a denying tone) “That’s crazy”

Harvey Specter (Mike’s boss) to Vivian: “You might want to warn your client about perjury. We’ve got sworn testimony from the installer.”

Mike: (shows a printed photo) “And we have a picture of the same carpet from one of his old buildings before it was renovated… So, it looks like we’re talking about, what? Assault, violations of rental codes, health codes, and you know, just basic codes of human decency.” Looks at Vivian and asks, “So, Vivian, how am I doing for my first time?”

Had Mike not gone back to break things down and dwell on what he was missing, he would not have been able to prove the deviousness of the landlord.

What Mike did was simplify a convoluted case where the facts were hidden. But it was only a matter of time before the truth was revealed.

What did Mike fail in the first hearing?

Mike was a young, high IQ talented genius of his kind in the world of law. However, even though he was highly intelligent, had a photographic memory, and had a passion for his field, he was affected by the 3 Cs of mental destruction.

1.     Chaos

2.     Complications

3.     Complexity

Mike allowed the chaos of the situation to get to him where his boss had high expectations, he had to prove his mettle, and he had to make the best impression. So, he rushed through things, thinking that he’d get a fair trial at the hearing in the housing court. After all, his client was innocent and was harassed by the landlord unfairly. This further complicated his case as the high-experience prosecutor clean-bowled any arguments he made. What he thought to be an easy case further filled his mind with complexities. He was baffled at how his client got no justice, whereas the dubious landlord got away with lies and deception.

In life, we are targeted by the 3Cs of mental destruction either one at a time or all at once. They come for us whether we like it or not. Chaos will arise in situations, either we or those around us can Complicate things, and some matters are already itching with Complexities. It’s our job to Simplify these 3Cs.

Such is the concept of the KISS OF LIFE – KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID!

Many leaders have only made things worse when they failed to simplify things. So, they get themselves embroiled in situations that did not have to arise in the first place. From hiring more talent to being stingy about expertise, or from taking a calculated risk to being too safe.

No matter the problem, it can get resolved if it’s broken down into simpler parts.

“Only when you simplify will you find a way to multiply.”

As long as you prevent yourself from complicating matters, it will become easier to accomplish anything. The simplest events are often the most challenging ones as they require very little effort to address and resolve.

Only when you simplify, can you multiply:

–         Material Success

–         Mental Success

–         Spiritual Success

–         Intellectual Success

–         Peace & Happiness

But focusing first on multiplying rather than simplifying will reverse things for you and further complicate your life. Remember, a legend with a high SiQ knows how to keep things simple.

I could not have said it better than Ruta Mohapatra.


Your complex thoughts on complex issues

Can’t they be expressed in simple lines?

Like water which one can drink

And quench the thirst for knowledge?

What is the use of books if one cannot eat it

Like an apple and digest the juice?

Your thoughts which others can internalize

And see through your eyes

See what you see

Feel what you feel

Only then will you succeed

As a writer or a poet

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