Welcome to Lesson 7 of our Step-By-Step Home Organizing Party! I hope you’ve had a blast so far, and I promise this lesson is going to be a treat as you hear from author Greg Mckeown and participate in the 7-Day Essentialism Challenge!
The key is in the word…It’s looking for not just the stuff and not just the good things, but the absolutely essential things. To create enough space to figure out what those are; to have the courage to eliminate the things that are not essential. And then to build a system to make execution as easy as possible…so that you can operate at your highest point of contribution instead of just feeling stretched too thin and going in a million different directions.Greg McKeown
Essentialism is an ongoing pursuit–not a state at which to arrive. Sometimes, you don’t even realize that you’ve mastered it until you look back in retrospect at the good things happening in your life. As you let go of other’s opinions and agendas for you–and let go of your past aspirations that are no longer relevant–you will feel the lightness of walking in the path of your highest contribution.
Q: How do you deal with the fear of loss?
The gentlest way to become an essentialist is to invest more and more of your time and energy in the things, people, causes and relationships that are highly important. The rest will fall out of your life naturally.
Our fear is greatest in the moment of releasing something. It feels like if we say “no” or let go of something, a little piece of us will die. But in reality, it often turns out to be the exact opposite. We gain freedom. We can breathe better. We have the mental space to be creative.
The whole problem with non-essentialism is it’s based in a lie: that you can do everything for everyone all the time. Do everything everyone else is doing. I mean, this is just a form of madness…Essentialism is actually just a more truthful way of looking at things.Greg McKeown
Sometimes people have a hundred times more capability and talent than they do time. If that’s the case, you’ll find you have to be very selective. Ask yourself, “What is absolutely my essential, unique mission in life?” Then, as you make decisions, pay close attention to how you feel as you move in that direction to see if it’s right or not.
3 Steps to Becoming an Essentialist:
- Explore what’s essential.
- Eliminate what’s not.
- Create a system to make it easy.
What one thing–if it really happened over the next five years–would be a real game changer in your life? What is that one thing that would allow you to contribute at an entirely new level? When you get clear on that, you’ll find that 80% of the stuff you were doing before is no longer relevant. Your criteria for making decisions is no longer this generalized idea; it’s very specific.
At the top of my daily reminders, I’ve written, “I am rested and calm, and I am connected to my best friend, Eric.” That’s at the top of my list, because I’ve noticed when I take time to sleep and I’m calm and he’s my priority, everything else goes so much better.April Perry
Q: What is your advice to someone who has some energy and lots they want to do, but just feels like they can’t get started?
You may find that you’re already burned out. If that’s the case, the first step is to protect your ability to prioritize. What can you do to take care of yourself so that you can protect your ability to discern priorities? You want to be able to make better decisions tomorrow, the next day, and over the long run. Therefore, protecting yourself and your ability to make such decisions–as the asset of driving future progress–is the highest priority.
To build on that, this is fundamental to our work as parents, teaching our children to protect this navigational spiritual asset. Once our children can discern and follow their conscience, the effective work of parenting is done. Each child is unique. Our intent as parents is not to get our children to do what we want, it’s to help them discover what they are supposed to do with their life–and then have the ability to decide which opportunities will lead them there.
Essentialism is about light. To live essentialism is to follow whatever light you have, even if it’s just the tiniest bit of light. It can be quite a lonely path, because you’re trying to take a path that is designed just for you. Your path is unique to you–and amazing. As you take steps towards something you feel clear is right for you, that light will get brighter and brighter.
And while your unique path might be a little bit lonely, we know that as you surround yourself with other people who are following their own path, it brings strength. That is why we are so grateful for each of you–our LearnDoBecome community. It is truly beautiful to watch you take steps forward on your path. As you do, you lift those around you! Thank you so much for being here!
Ready to get started? Come sign up at LearnDoBecome.com/party to access the free 7-Day Essentialism Challenge! (We have both printable and digital options for you!)
Here are some of the books that have helped Eric and I apply the principles of Essentialism to our lives!
- Essentialism by Greg McKeown
- Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud What is either already dead OR taking energy that needs to be put somewhere else?
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo What sparks joy?
- Good to Great by Jim Collins What is your hedgehog?
Get to know Greg McKeown:
Here’s another podcast we recorded with Greg!
Boundaries.me course by Dr. Henry Cloud
Whether you’re new to LearnDoBecome or a long-time follower, we’d love to have you join our free class! We’ll help you finally stop drowning in piles–whether those piles are mental or physical. Come sign up here!