Top Ten Quotes: Essentialism
Occasionally I’ll pick up a book that’s been recommended to me by multiple people over the years (“What do you mean you haven’t read that?!? I thought you claimed to be a reader!”), and realize that, yes, I was indeed missing out on something.
That was true of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. For all of my talk of getting more things done, McKeown focuses on the things we ought to focus on.
Here are my top ten favorite quotes:
- …almost everything is noise.
- …we have the unfulfilling experience of making a millimeter of progress in a million directions.
- [T]echnology has lowered the barrier for others to share their opinion about what we should be focusing on. It is not just information overload; it is opinion overload.
- A Nonessentialist approaches every trade-off by asking, “How can I do both?” Essentialists ask the tougher but ultimately more liberating question, “Which problem do I want?”
- …the faintest pencil is better than the strongest memory.
- Pushing oneself to the limit is easy! The real challenge for the person who thrives on challenges is not to work hard.
- While sleep is often associated with giving rest to the body, recent research shows that sleep is really more about the brain…while we sleep our brains are hard at work encoding and restructuring information. Therefore, when we wake up, our brains may have made new neural connections, thereby opening up a broader range of solutions to problems, literally overnight.
- [W]hen we don’t have a clear sense of our goals, our aspirations, and our values—we make up our own social games. We waste time and energies on trying to look good in comparison to other people.
- …when people make their problem our problem, we aren’t helping them; we’re enabling them. Once we take their problem for them, all we’re doing is taking away their ability to solve it.
- …if we want to change our routine, we don’t really need to change the behavior. Rather, we need to find the cue that is triggering the nonessential activity or behavior and find a way to associate that same cue with something that is essential.
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