Gregg McKeown is the author of Essentialism. He has a podcast called What’s Essential. I’ve talked about his work here before. I own his book too.
Essentialism is more or less, choosing what is most important to me, and making it a priority.
A short list of essentials for me would look something like:
* My wife, and my relationship with her.
* Helping others create music of meaning and beauty.
* Being in touch with my own sense of music and beauty.
Something like that.
Essentialism is hard. It requires looking at ideas and opportunities and deciding if they align with my essentials. It means saying no to things that aren’t essential to me, while my usual tact is something closer to getting excited by an idea and chasing it down like a rabbit. Or being asked to doing something and saying yes out of a sense of obligation (or a wish not to disappoint).
The past few weeks, learning to evaluate and choose what’s essential has been one of my biggest adventures and challenges. It’s also important to recognize my idea of essentialism and my tilt towards perfectionism are hosted in neighboring nodes of my brain. I want to do essentialism perfectly. In this life things are rarely perfect.