Self-Care Challenge (Day 315): Evaluating Essentials

Cover of Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Yesterday, I read Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism (Amazon Associate Link), which was a timely read (and act of self-care) for me.

Essentialism is about the pursuit of less.

Contrary to our culture’s expectations of always striving to do a little more, and a little more, and a little more, McKeown’s book focuses on doing the most important things. Instead of getting more done, we’re encouraged to concentrate our efforts on getting the right things done.

I can certainly relate to the author’s assertion that most of us have multiple priorities, which is impossible if you consider the definition of priority. We can’t have multiple “most important” things, which is why prioritization is so difficult. Most of us care about more than just one thing, and it can feel impossible to rank our priorities because it means we have to admit that some things are less important than others.

But McKeown rightly reminds us of Stephen R. Covey’s famous quote: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

The truth is, having clear priorities makes life easier. We can say ‘no’ to the things that aren’t a priority, and ‘yes’ to what is, and that helps us make choices when we’re faced with two options that seem at odds.

Although I didn’t expect the author to reference self-care, I was pleasantly surprised that he did. Sleep was underscored as a vital component of essentialism, and protecting our biggest asset (us) was referenced in these terms: “The best asset we have for making a contribution to the world is ourselves.”

Yes! Yes! So much yessssssssssss!

So now I shall ponder this question: “What is the obstacle that, if removed, would make the majority of other obstacles disappear?”

What’s essential in your life?

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