Did you miss our book club meeting?
Are you interested in learning more about living a simpler life?
Did you, perhaps, start by cleaning out your home with Marie Kondo?
It is time to pick up Essentialism by Greg McKeown.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less walks the reader through the thought process of an Essentialist. Through a deliberate evaluation of our circumstances, decisions, or commitments, it is possible for us to streamline our lives.
This really made me consider the areas in my life where I feel most stressed out or out of control. Maybe it’s work where you are committed to so many projects that you can’t possibly do any of them well. Maybe it’s at home in your relationships with family- boundaries with family and close friends can be difficult to maintain. I know that there are times in my life where I have set aside important commitments to help a friend or family member only to feel that they have taken advantage of my time when it was all over.
What would happen if you simply stopped saying yes?
How would your life change if you chose to stay within your own limits instead of always feeling stretched?
These are the questions that an Essentialists ask themselves on a regular basis. It is not possible to only sort of commit to this behavior. Then, you will only sort of see results.
I, personally, am planning on beginning to implement Essentialist analysis into my lifestyle a little bit at a time. One thing I have committed to is to schedule space in my planner for reflection, journaling, and meditation. These are activities that, I know, make a large difference in my life. When I take space to reflect, I feel spacious in my mind and am both happier and more productive. Yet, when life gets busy, this is often the first activity that I strike from my list.
The quote above makes this even more plain. Living deliberately is the fore of Essentialism. When we take a step back, systematically analyze, choose the priority, and know that everything else will work out, we can truly step into a space of elegant simplicity. There is time to think, to look/listen, play, and sleep- if only we are selective in our decision making.
For many years, I have noticed that sleep deprivation is incredibly harmful to my health and my emotions. Sleep has slowly become a priority in my life. Each night, I ensure that I get, minimally, 7.5 hours- though 9 is ideal. If I get less sleep than that more than a couple of days in a row, I feel physically tired, mentally sluggish, and I often get sick with an opportunistic cold or flu.
Play is equally important. There must be space in our lives to play with our loved ones, to engage with ourselves, and to laugh. This feeds the soul and sparks creativity. What games make you happy? Who do you play with? When was the last time you laughed so hard that your belly hurt and you couldn’t breathe?
It all boils down to focused decision-making. In all areas of life, McKeown provides examples of how when we reflect and focus, clarity is achieved. This is incredibly conducive to prioritizing our lives and choosing the things with which we engage.
I truly loved this book and connected with it deeply. I highly recommend it as a quick read with incredible depth of meaning. I know that implementing Essentialism into my everyday will streamline my life and maximize its joy.
Did you enjoy Essentialism?
Is there something you would like to see us read in our Book Club?
Tell us in the comments below!