I just wrapped up reading Essentialism by Greg McKeown. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. If you haven't heard of it...you are about to.
The book took longer than normal to read the book. Half of the reason was because I took my time digesting the pages and soaking in the knowledge. The other half (honestly) was making the decision of binging Netflix over reading a book. And I'll be honest, it's nearly impossible to watch multiple episodes of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and stay in a bad mood. But I digress...
Most of us do not face a shortage of options. Busy is a badge of honor - and not one that is difficult to achieve. We feel like more always equals better. Being involved with more projects, working more hours, volunteering at more places, being on more committees....we feel like our worth is tied to the number of things we are part of.
I know I did. And still fight it to this day.
Essentialism takes a countercultural point-of-view on work and life. Instead of always trying to accomplish more things, McKeown argues that we should do fewer things - but better. He also puts the burden of responsibility of work life balance on our shoulders instead of our bosses. McKeown encourages readers to make your life priorities before someone dictates them for you.
It was actually lessons from Essentialism that led me to say no to working on some great, community building things. Why? Because I was stretched too thin. Though I was never honest with myself, I wanted to be a "yes man." I always felt like a "no" will let people down. In reality, I may let them down for not being able to be fully present (which is why I eventually said no).
McKeown does a great job of illustrating that pursuing less things takes much more discipline. Less takes thinking. It's hard. But it's also a simpler way of living. In his terms, less is often much more fulfilling than "a lot."
I definitely encourage you to read it. If you have, what did you think?
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