Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
A friend recommended Greg McKeown’s book essentialism to me over a year ago. I have read it, taken notes, set goals, and read it again. It has changed my life for the better, especially helping me let go of a frenetic lifestyle to live a life of meaning. Working through this book has given me clarity of purpose and empowered me to focus more intensely on fewer things.
At the beginning of the book, Mr. McKeown portrays an executive “trying to please everyone.” I can relate! He gives us plenty of encouragement, examples, suggestions, tools and resources, however, to use as we see fit. A phrase Mr. McKeown introduces in the opening chapter is “Less is More”. It took a while to grasp this powerful concept and implement it for myself.
There are many positive effects of slowing down and pondering our lives. What am I doing? Where am I going? Why? Pausing to evaluate my life resulted in positive changes. This book has been a gift in motivating me to take some time to be quiet, not worry about tackling another project, and assess what is most important in my life. It has gently but firmly encouraged me to prune the non-essentials so that I can more fully grow the essential things.
We accomplish improvement by iterations. We make a small change which enables us to make other small changes. Sometimes quickly, sometimes by sheer grit over a long period of time, we make progress toward a goal or quality of life. essentialism inspired me to write aspirations and goals in light of my priorities, revise some of my plans, and then stick with them.
If you are a busy dealer that wants to get out of “The Swirl”, here is how I was able to put the concepts of essentialism into action:
- Take a break! Find a place where you can be undistracted.
- What is most important to you? Challenge: Identify your top 2 or 3 priorities.
- Write your action list for today. Include everything that has been going through your head as well all those expectations communicated to you (or implied) by others!
- Now the fun part! CROSS OFF THINGS ON YOUR ACTION LIST THAT DON’T ALIGN WITH YOUR PRIORITIES. Choosing what NOT to do is empowering!
- Start small and repeat often! Try to make a routine out of choosing your path in alignment with what you want to accomplish.
The problem isn’t that we can’t figure out the big picture. The problem is that we get ambushed by daily distractions. Those didn’t make it into our annual strategy plan! That’s ok, I can look at an unexpected situation or request and compare it to my list. If that urgency is truly the most important use of my time, I deal with it and then return to my list.
I strongly encourage you to read essentialism yourself. I would appreciate hearing how it improves your quality of life! All the best! Laura
McKeown, Greg (2014) essentialism The Disciplined Pursuit of Less New York, NY Crown Business