Book Summary: Essentialism by Greg McKeown | Sam Thomas Davies - Deepstash
What is essentialism?

Essentialism is a disciplined, systematic approach for determining where our highest point of contribution lies, then making execution of those things almost effortless.

It is about giving ourselves few important choices and deliberately pursuing them in disciplined manner

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Origins of the word 'priority'

“The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular.

It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next five hundred years. 

Only in the 1900s did we pluralize the term and start talking about priorities.”

“When we don’t purposefully and deliberately choose where to focus our energies and time, other people – our bosses, our colleagues, our clients, and even our families – will choose for us, and before long we’ll have lost sight of everything that is meaningful and important.”

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Some big ideas from the book
  • Only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter.
  • Essentialism is about deliberately distinguishing the vital few from the trivial many, eliminating the non-essentials, and then removing any obstacles so the essential things have a clear, smooth passage.
  • If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.
  • The Paradox of Success: the more options we have, the more we feel distracted from what would otherwise be our highest level of contribution.

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What do you need to do?

To embrace the essence of Essentialism requires we replace these false assumptions with three core truths: 

  1. “I choose to,”
  2. “Only a few things really matter,” and
  3. “I can do anything but not everything.”

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