Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Review: essentialism by Greg McKeown

Last summer, our friend Naomi recommended the book essentialism: The Disiciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown to myself and Jamie in the middle of a period where we were looking at ways to simplify and streamline our life. The book has a simple and compelling cover showing just exactly what happens to our bodies, minds, hearts, and lives when we choose to fill our life with nonessential things. The book is a quick read, and super helpful for anyone who is looking to get back to basics, and build from a solid foundation

The book is a fun read, and the way the book is set up helps to think through simplifying from the highest priority. Each chapter not only lays out an example of someone who is focused on essentials as well as someone focused on non-essentials, but also gives a path to get to what’s really important.

If each of us is honest, we spend a significant amount of our time and energy focused on things that are urgent, but not necessarily important. We give up our sleep for getting a few more emails out, or we give up on our exercise so we can surf the internet or watch tv. It’s like our thinking has gotten completely backward.

With Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) on the rise, and a strong illusion that we can “do all the things” we find ourselves wanting to include more and more habits, skills, responsibilities, and tasks in our lives. As two people who have historically tried to figure out how to say yes to just about every opportunity, Jamie and I have really benefitted from this book’s encouragement to say no to things that are less important, and to determine what is of prime importance.

The book offers some great tools and reminders to each of us with regard to keeping our life simple, and rather than trying to determine how to add activities to our already busy lives, essentialism by Greg McKeon encourages us to take stock and take away some of the flurry of busyness, to subtract things and say no to what is not essential. May we each live more simple and fulfilling lives and bring our very best selves to this world for the good of those around us, and for the good of those whose time has not yet come.

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