Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

“The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials.” - Lin Yutang

Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin? Do you sometimes feel overworked and underutilized? Do you feel motion sickness instead of momentum? Does your day sometimes get hijacked by someone else’s agenda? Have you ever said “yes” simply to please and then resented it?

Essentialism in a few words is doing less but more. If you said yes, read further to learn how you can adopt a mindset to become an essentialist!

An essentialist filters through all options and selects only the essentials. By doing this they

  • Get the right things done

  • Are wise with their time and energy

  • Extremely disciplined

“If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.”

Wait, how can we become an essentialist if we don’t know the nonessential side? Well nonessential is the undisciplined pursuit of more. You can easily fall into the category by these three aspect:

1. Having too many choices. Psychologists refer this to decision fatigue: more forced choices resulting in less quality performance.

2. Having too much social pressure. Social media as well as people around us influence us to do more. Perhaps we aren’t doing the right things, etc. Thats why it’s so important to take breaks away from social media and if you ask me, from people too!

3. The idea that you can have it all. The sad truth is that we can’t and this is a dangerous mindset. It forces you to cram and do more that you didn’t need to do in the first place.

How to become an essentialist?

Adopt these mindsets:

  1. You have to understand that you have individual choice which means you choose how you spend your energy and time.

  2. Everything that makes noise is not valuable. You have to discern what is important and what is worth it.

  3. Understand the reality of trade offs. Instead of “How can I make it all work?” use “which problem do I want to solve?”

Use these methods:

  1. Explore all options.

  2. Eliminate everything that’s not essential.

  3. Execute the plans.

Your life will change and you will realize that you have more freedom and control. You will enjoy the process.

“An essential life is living a life that really matters.”

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