The power of simple is manifested in that others were able to build from the foundation Einstein identified and defined. They were able to accomplish things they most likely could not have otherwise. We also have experienced this phenomenon. Consider Ohm law. Georg Ohm did the hard work and broke down the complex to a simple law. We use the principles contained in that law as a starting point to understand the complexities of electricity and circuit dynamics.
The colors or numbers themselves are often a clue, but they alone may not provide sufficient information. There is always the trial and error method, but I do not recommend that because of the potential for destructive results. Instead, the Motor Doctors suggestion is to equip yourself with an ohmeter (don nott settle for just a continuity tester) and learn to perform a few simple tests with it.