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Essentialism

essentialism

I caught an interview with Greg McKeown recently. He was talking about his mission in life:

For me, success in my platform and the totality of my life is to inspire millions of people to be able to live their essential mission in life. This is what it”™s about, and it won”™t matter whether there is another book or not; it will be about this basic essential idea. It won”™t matter what media there is, whether they are the current platforms or other platforms that will yet be explored. It will be the same singular message.

When I read Greg’s book, I pulled a number of quotes including:

Is THIS the very most important thing I should be doing with my time and resources right now?

Essentialism: only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter.

Think: Less but better.

If you don”™t prioritize your life, someone else will.

As Peter Drucker said, “People are effective because they say ”˜no,”™ because they say, “this isn”™t for me.”

Straddled strategy ”“ Attempting to invest in everything at once.

A choice is an action

Warren Buffett ”“ He owes 90% of his wealth to just ten investments.

Separate the decision from the relationship. Say no to non-essential meetings.

The book is certainly worth reading even it it challenges your FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). I found that many of his ideas correspond very closely to the principles of minimalism:

1. Omit needless things. Notice this doesn’t say to omit everything. Just needless things.
2. Identify the essential. What’s most important to you? What makes you happy? What will have the highest impact on your life, your career?
3. Make everything count. Whatever you do or keep in your life, make it worthy of keeping. Make it really count.
4. Fill your life with joy. Don’t just empty your life. Put something wonderful in it.
5. Edit, edit. Minimalism isn’t an end point. It’s a constant process of editing, revisiting, editing some more.

Source: The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life by Leo Babauta

Clutter

We spent most of the long week-end working through some of the clutter in our house. We have a pretty impressive collection of clutter.

Most of the effort today was focused on our book room. The book room is a fairly large area in our basement filled with books and pretty much anything else that we could fit in to the space

The transformation is nothing short of amazing. It took about six hours, but we did an extreme makeover of that room.

I also reorganized the book shelves at the same time. Seemed simple enough until I discovered that there were thousands of books to organize. Books on business, finance, technology, photography, golf, literature, science, music. In a way, we have a small bookstore in our house.

My daughter helped me in getting the books organized. But she faded after a couple of hours. And I almost stopped soon after that. However, with some help and encouragement from my wife the balance of the work was finished and by the end of day we had a clean and organized space.

Getting rid of clutter is proving to be a liberating experience. I am gaining a strong appreciation for minimalism and simplification.