Essentialism … by Greg McKeown

Essentialism was a recommendation by Ben Hosking during an episode of the Business Applications podcast with Mark Smith.  As Ben is renowned on social media channels for his #HoskWisdom, I thought this might be worth a read!

Too much of a good thing

To give it it’s full name, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, will help the reader establish a more intentional life.  This is expertly illustrated by the books cover.  There are many reasons why this is a great idea.  Some of them are explained by the books author, Greg McKeown in an interview with the Stanford School of Business.

In his interview, Greg explains that it is not easy being an essentialist.  However, not following the disciplined pursuit of what is essential will lead to following “the undisciplined pursuit of the non-essential’.  And this will prevent capable and driven people from breaking through to the next level.

The irony is that the more successful a person becomes, the more choices they have.  Because of this, it is harder to focus on the right things.

A different way of thinking

In a world where everyone seems to be constantly striving for more, Essentialism is about doing less but better.  This relates to our personal as well as our professional lives.   It requires a real shift in the way each person prioritises what is important, and how they act on those priorities.  And this needs to become routine, so that we do it instinctively, even when under extreme pressure.

Ironically, even the word ‘priority’ is a misnomer.  Historically the word ‘priority’ was only used in the singular.  It meant ‘the single most important thing’. However, nowadays it is common for many of us to have endless priorities, and this does nothing to give us focus.

Having read this book, I am going to make it my aim to become more of an ‘essentialist’.  Because ultimately, if we don’t design our own lives, we are going to have them designed for us by other people.

If, like me, you feel like you are constantly running to stand still, this book is for you.  And if essentialism helps, don’t forget to thank Ben for his #HoskWisdom.

Essentialism book image
Deckchair Reads 7/10