It has centered us on what is essential for us.
This book came into our lives while we were gone on a trip and we had more time for self-reflection. It helped us examine what we were spending our time on and to prioritize more. What were we using our precious time and energy on? Because of this book we have:
- Thought a lot about “mandatory employment”, which means showing up somewhere everyday, and that we would rather spend less money and have more time to do the things we want to do.
- Streamlined our birthday celebrations to make them less expensive and more thoughtful. We have had birthday picnics this last month instead of automatically going to a restaurant and gave more thoughtful gifts rather than handing over a check.
- Gone through our budget more thoroughly to see what we could cut out.
- Stopped over scheduling ourselves.
- I am still working on doing better with what Greg McKeown talks about having a buffer so I can not be 5 minutes late to everything.
Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything… Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.”
“Three steps to Essentialism:
- Discern the vital few from the trivial many.
- Eliminate the nonessential
- Make it frictionless to execute the essentials.’
“The way of the Essentialist is learning to tell the difference, learning to filter through all of those options and selecting those that are truly essential.”
Our favorite takeaway is how Greg McKeown focuses on “Less but better”.
Look at what President Hinckley said about “less but better”:
“The observance of four simple things on the part of parents would in a generation or two turn our societies around in terms of their moral values.
They are simply these: Let parents and children
(1) teach and learn goodness together,
(2) work together,
(3) read good books together, and
(4) pray together.
I wish I had known this earlier in my life.
Really, those four simple categories are the essentials in raising a family.
Below is a 5 minute summary with Greg McKeown and then an 11 minute one. They are both worth your time and give excellent summaries.
I also read this post on lds.org on Sunday, about being in the thick of thin things, by Michelle Craig, one of my favorite people. She gives excellent advice at the end of her post:
“Elder Kim B. Clark, speaking to seminary and institute teachers, shared a life-changing piece of advice. On a regular basis, he and his wife prayerfully consider the following two questions:
- What am I doing that I should stop doing?
- What am I not doing that I should start doing?
Ask yourself these questions, listen carefully for the answers, and then act on what is taught.”
That is essentialism!”It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.”
What do you think? Do you have essential things you do everyday that make your life better? Please Share!
Hinckley, G. B. (1996, September). First presidency message: four simple things to help our families and our nations. The Ensign, 7. Adapted from a March 5, 1994, address given to the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Brigham Young University Management Society.