Inside Thoughts

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.

“Less is Best”

Having learned the powerful truth of the above statement, I am starting to create ways and habits that enable me to live by this concept. I have since learned that it has a name! Essentialism: which is: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. Greg McKeown a key note speaker and writer on this topic says it beautifully.

“If you say yes to everything and everyone, without thinking about it, reactively, you cannot be utilised at your highest point of contribution.”

He goes on to ask these Questions:

  • Have you found yourself stretched too thin?
  • Have you found yourself busy but not productive?
  • Do you find yourself saying yes to appease?
  • Does your day get hijacked by other people’s agenda?

The Practice of Essentialism

In the past I would have answered a resounding Yes to the above. I love productivity. I love to achieve goals. Hence I would have multiple goals and projects in a machine life fashion. I was exceedingly busy, however it felt like I was going nowhere. To make matters worse,

I found it hard to say no. So I found myself doing all sorts of things, which were all great ministries, or projects, however they were accomplishing other people’s projects, agendas and destinies and costing me my own. I ended up with multiple different projects, others and my own, and I end up ineffective and stressed. My quality of work went down, my clarity disappeared, and my stress levels went through the roof.

“I have learned this – Less is Best.” – Greg McKeown

Essentialism is about the disciplined pursuit of less but better

Essentialism is about taking the time to decide the critical things you want to pursue and establishing routines and habits that allow this to happen.

For surely in order to  ‘Reign in life” one must learn how to practice Essentialism.

“Your yes to one thing is a no to something else.” Katherine Ruonala.

What it looks like for me today

While I have many goals for the future, currently I am focusing on two. Just two projects. Streamlining my 10 different projects that I want to do, to only two, took time and careful thought. Now that I have established these, I have clarity, focus and time to execute this with excellence. When I get asked or invited to join in other things I say NO. It is not the right season.

I do not have FOMO (fear of missing out) Instead I have JOMO (joy of missing out).

Greg Mckeow works with many leaders in the corporate space. He has seen huge individual and corporate breakthrough practicing this concept. He states this,

The opposite of not practicing Essentialism is The Undisciplined pursuit of more.

The antidote?

The disciplined pursuit of less but better


Beloved does this resonate with you?

Here are some key steps that he suggests you can take to start practicing Essentialism in your life.

  • Explore the critical things, you want to pursue

Take some time in your life to decide this. It is not uncommon for our lives to be too full, too busy to be able to even know what the answer to this question is. It is critical you take time to establish what your main goals are for this season of your life. This is what I do at the beginning of each year and revaluate on a regular basis in my life. Remember ‘Less is Best.’

  • Start saying no!

Once you have established the key projects, commitments and agendas you want to pursue, it will be easier to start saying no. This will enable you to create margin in your life as you do not havecommitments and projects that are not in line with the critical things you want to pursue.

To ‘Reign in Life’ is to practice Essentialism.

“The undisciplined pursuit of the non-essential will compromise the disciplined pursuit of the essential.” – Greg Mckeow.

This is a price I am not willing to pay. Are you?

Until next time

You are deeply loved and richly cherished,

Christine Greenwood.

Wink Now that I am an ‘Essentialist’ and a ‘Minimalist’ I am an Essential Minimalist. So Outstanding. What a citizen. Even Oparah would want to be my friend.

PS Learn about my flirt with being a minimalist here.

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