by Greg McKeown
Read between April 14 - April 28, 2019
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.
Less but better.
The way of the Essentialist is the relentless pursuit of less but better.
If you don’t prioritise your life, someone else will.
Psychologists call this “decision fatigue”: the more choices we are forced to make, the more the quality of our decisions deteriorates.5
The purpose of the exploration is to discern the vital few from the trivial many.
These three elements – explore, eliminate, execute – are not separate events as much as a cyclical process. And when we apply them consistently we are able to reap greater and greater benefits.
What if society encouraged us to reject what has been accurately described as doing things we detest, to buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like?11
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.”
Getting to the essence of a story takes a deep understanding of the topic, its context, its fit into the bigger picture, and its relationship to different fields.
You can train leaders in communication and teamwork and conduct 360 feedback reports until you are blue in the face, but if a team does not have clarity of goals and roles, problems will fester and multiply.
When there is a serious lack of clarity about what the team stands for and what their goals and roles are, people experience confusion, stress, and frustration. When there is a high level of clarity, on the other hand, people thrive.
One strategic choice eliminates a universe of other options and maps a course for the next five, ten, or even twenty years of your life. Once the big decision is made, all subsequent decisions come into better focus.
It takes asking tough questions, making real trade-offs, and exercising serious discipline to cut out the competing priorities that distract us from our true intention.
Have you ever said yes when you meant no simply to avoid conflict or friction?
Sunk-cost bias is the tendency to continue to invest time, money, or energy into something we know is a losing proposition simply because we have already incurred, or sunk, a cost that cannot be recouped.
the best place to look is for small changes we could make in the things we do often. There is power in steadiness and repetition.”
when there was a high level of clarity of purpose, the team and the people in it overwhelmingly thrived. When there was a serious lack of clarity about what the team stood for and what their goals and roles were, people experienced confusion, stress, frustration, and ultimately failure.
“Clarity equals success.”
“Bozo explosion” – a term he uses to describe what happens when a formerly great team or company descends into mediocrity.