15 Ideas from Essentialism by Greg Mckeown
- Essentialism: Less but better.
- "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."
- “The way of the Essentialist means living by design, not by default. Instead of making choices reactively, the Essentialist deliberately distinguishes the vital few from the trivial many, eliminates the nonessentials, and then removes obstacles so the essential things have clear, smooth passage. In other words, Essentialism is a disciplined, systematic approach for determining where our highest point of contribution lies, then making execution of those things almost effortless.
- “The paradox of success”: 1) We have clarity of purpose, which enables us to succeed, 2) When we have success, we gain a reputation as a “go to” person…presented with increased options and opportunities 3) We start pursuing multiple opportunities simultaneously, leading to diffused efforts…we get spread thinner and thinner… 4) We become distracted from what would otherwise be our highest level of contribution. The effect of our success then undermines the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.
- “The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next five hundred years. Only in the 1900s did we pluralize the term and start talking about priorities. Illogically, we reasoned that by changing the word we could bend reality. Somehow we would now be able to have multiple ‘first’ things.”
- "There are three deeply entrenched assumptions we must conquer to live the way of the Essentialist: “I have to,” “It’s all important,” and “I can do both.” Like mythological sirens, these assumptions are as dangerous as they are seductive. They draw us in and drown us in shallow waters. To embrace the essence of Essentialism requires we replace these false assumptions with three core truths: “I choose to,” “Only a few things really matter,” and “I can do anything but not everything.”’
- "If you could do only one thing with your life right now, what would you do?"
- "You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything." - John Maxwell
- "An Essentialist takes the time to explore all his options. The extra investment is justified because some things are so much more important that they repay the effort invested in finding those things tenfold. An Essentialist, in other words, discerns more so he can do less.”
- “Nonessentialist: Thinks almost everything is essential. Views opportunities as basically equal. Essentialist: Thinks almost everything is nonessential. Distinguishes the vital few from the trivial many.”
- Nonessentialist: Thinks, “I can do both.” Asks, “How can I do it all?” Essentialist Asks, “What is the trade-off I want to make?” Asks, “What can I go big on?”
- "To discern what is truly essential we need space to think, time to look and listen, permission to play, wisdom to sleep, and the discipline to apply highly selective criteria to the choices we make."
- "The essential question that will inform every future decision you will ever make: ‘If we could be truly excellent at only one thing, what would it be?’”
- "People are effective because they say no." - Peter Drucker
- "An Essentialist produces more …by removing more”
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