Essentialism – It’s What You DO
Earlier this year I told you about one of the books I read in 2014 called Essentialism.
It was recommended to me by one of my mentors Tim Erway, CEO of Elite Marketing Pro.
It is one of those books that has a lot of advice that pushes your thinking.
Sometimes I wonder if this way of thinking is too Individualistic.
But another business coach told me – The first two hours of your day should be about making YOU strong.
You have to make yourself STRONG in order to make others Strong.
Essentialism is actually a way of going about your life.
Personally it is a challenge for me because I’m struggling with it being a “self-fish” attitude to life.
But I do recognize the importance and need for what you can call “pushing back” on people in order to achieve your goals.
So it will be best if you read the book yourself,
But I will give you a really quick summary about what the entails.
The whole idea behind essentialism is Less is More.
The less you do the more value you can get out of what you do.
While reading the book I realized that in the corporate world it will appear that most managers are non-essentialist.
They are always busy doing nothing and always looking for ways to make themselves busier.
In that environment I can see how that person will advance especially in a society where they don’t understand what value is until it’s too late.
Unfortunately I live in that kind of society. Non-essentialism breeds mediocrity.
To be an essentialist you must first start with clearing house.
It’s interesting because when I started reading this book I had just started cleaning out my closet.
I had removed quite a few things from my closet, but many things remained.
Those were things that I thought maybe I’ll wear this soon type of items.
After reading just the first chapter I went back to my closet and took them ALL out and put them in the bag to go out.
Now in that chapter there are many other tips.
It isn’t only important to clear out the clutter you also have to get it OUT the house!
Now be honest!
How many times have you done spring cleaning and the bags for the donation center are just piling up.
Until one day they just go right back into the closet.
Well for me I got the back into my car.
I thought ok if it’s in the car I’ll be able to drop it off.
I took me a month, yes a month to drop the bag off.
What is interesting about this process is that the more you do it the easier it becomes to clean out, and remove from your environment.
Just by me understanding that process I started to understand what Essentialism was all about.
Here’s a summary of some actions that need to take place for you to turn your life into that of an essentialist
Choose – you have to make decisions. Choose what you want in life
Discern – there is something unimportant about many things. If you can discern what is most important everything else becomes easy
Trade-offs – the one thing I learned from this book is that every choice ultimately leads to a trade-off. Nothing in this world is Free
Escape – remember when I talked about making yourself strong. Sometimes you need to secure your escape in order to work better
Look – very similar to discerning, you have to be able to SEE importance clearly before acting
Play – this is something hard for me to embrace because of my upbringing. Creativity stems from a playful attitude not a rigid one, so spend time just enjoying life and playing
Sleep – I wrote about this some time ago. Sleep is so important that if you think you can burn the midnight oil and still perform, think about the trade-off you just made in staying up all night.
Select – Here our author talks about developing a criteria to choose. If you’re not clear about what you want you won’t get it it’s that simple.
Eliminate – the elimination process (going back to the clearly out the closet example used in the book) involves a myriad of steps as you will see in the book.
Execute – execution doesn’t just happen once, it becomes a daily habit. everything you do because a process where by you determine whether or not it is important, you create the time and the buffers, you remove obstacles, you focus and reward progress and just BE.
This book has challenged me to look at my life differently and at the same time not so differently.
It has made me realize the reasons for the way I do things.
And it is has provided me with further guidance as to how to improve.
I highly recommend Essentialism for those who need to develop a partner of discipline in their life in order to achieve their goals.