Friday, October 31, 2014

October Book Review: Essentialism

I have too much stuff. 

Too much physical stuff that I will never use or that I can't get myself to throw away because I just know I will need it some day. Yeah, right. Probably the "stuff" that I notice the most these days is the mental stuff. The things I am not doing, need to do, want to do, and my daughter's favorite songs from the Disney Channel that I can't get out of my head. 

Like many people these days, I am noticing more and more the movement towards having less or really needing what you have. A good friend of mine, Jeffrey Cufaude, recommended a book to me recently that he wished he would have written (he could have) and that I completely resonated with…Essentialism by Greg McKeown. The cover tells you all you need to know about the inside of the book. Look at it and you will understand. The subtitle is "the discipline pursuit of less" and we can all agree that discipline is in fact what is needed to get to what really matters in our lives.

McKeown focuses on four main concepts: Essence, Explore, Eliminate, and Execute with additional concepts to flush out his points within each. I have always resonated with the power of choice and speak often about that in my role at LeaderShape and to others as the most important power we have…to choose the meaning we give to events in our lives and to know that we ALWAYS have that power. The meaning people give to our lives, the meaning stuff gives to our lives, and the meaning of the interpretations of what occurs in our lives.  I will highlight one other concept which caught my eye as LeaderShaper…uncommit. We speak at LeaderShape about making commitments and being a person of integrity, but not much about uncommitting from the things in our lives that create chaos and lack of clarity. Uncommiting is probably just as important to committing when you think about it, right? What are those things that we really should not be engaged with that sap us of energy and time? 

I may not stop watching the Blacklist on Monday nights, but at least I am thinking of what decisions I am making in my life. What is essential and what distracts me from my vision and who I want to be. One of our Co-Lead Facilitators, Kristin Skarie, went a year without buying ANYTHING new. Bet she found out what is essential in her life, huh? 

What is essential to you? What is practicing essentialism? Pick up the book and see how it might influence the choices you make every day. I think it will make you a better leader, a better decision maker, and a better person. 


1 comment:

Leslie Cook said...

In the middle of this book and love it! I just returned from the international mind & life symposium in Boston and I am convinced that less is truly more. It's about the relationships, experiences and people around us that matter. Thanks Paul.