“Less but better” embodies the ethic of Essentialism.
The essence of Essentialism
Essentialism is a way of thinking that drives success, that replaces false assumptions that we can do it all, that being busy means being productive, that we must accept every single opportunity that comes our way.
Essentialists understand that they have the ability to choose before they feel helpless and let someone else make decisions for them.
They acknowledge that hard work does not necessarily pay off or lead to great results. Essentialists therefore learn to distinguish among all opportunities the best and most appropriate, most essential.
They also understand that decisions are made by design and not by default.
They focus their energy and time on a small portion of activities, and refuse those that won’t help them achieve their goals.
The exploration and selection process
Essentialists give themselves the liberty to explore everything and anything before making a decisions on what to focus their energy, before committing to one option.
To do so, they:
Set aside time to think, to focus on different possibilities, to create space for intense concentration, to read, to meditate.
Visualize the bigger picture and notice the larger issues that matter.
Listen deliberately and observe intensely.
Write a journal, with restraint, until it becomes a habit to keep track of the small changes implemented and to memorize the important events and information.
Take time to play. In the workplace and in adulthood, playing has become trivial and undermined. However, playing sparks creativity, opens people up to see more possibilities, “challenges old assumptions and makes us more receptive to untested ideas”, alleviates stress, improve overall corporate skills.
Make sleep a priority to counter-intuitively remain productive, to increase creativity and sustain a healthy mind.
Apply the 90 percent rule, if unsure of a decision, to avoid committing to too many options in our personal and professional lives. “think about the single most important criterion for that decision, and then simply give the option a score between 0 and 100. If you rate it any lower than 90 percent, then automatically change the rating to 0 and simply reject”. For example, the 90 percent rule is useful to hire the right people and make sure that they are fit from the start.
Say no to the unwanted opportunities that come your way.
Fight the fear of missing out.
The elimination process
Furthermore, Essentialists find the courage, strength and conviction to firmly and resolutely say no to external pressure when they believe it is right and eliminate the nonessentials.
They clarify their goals, their personal and professional mission statements, make them concrete, measurable, meaningful and memorable, identify the activities that align themselves with their mission statements.
Clarifying their goals and missions improves their relationships, their motivation, sense of cooperation, sense of purpose, their jobs, roles.
It also helps them focus their energy and time in one direction and therefore increase productivity.
In the workplace, employees without a clear mission or values tend to play politics.
Often Nonessentialists are afraid of missing out on an opportunity or are afraid of conflict, of not being conform to expectations, to social norms, but saying no will increase your effectiveness and the respect level.
Nonessentialists would be better off if they:
Separated the person from their decisions.
Found different ways to say no politely but firmly. It is critical to be prepared for reactions of annoyance, disappointment or anger from the other party. However, respect usually replaces those emotions in the long run.
Traded the denied nonessential opportunities for better ones.
Realized that respect is more valuable than popularity.
Exercised discipline to remove distractions, cut their losses and stopped investing time, money and energy in nonessentials, dead-end activities.
Broke free from a false sense of ownership to a project and object.
Avoided staying somewhere just because they are afraid of wasting time, losing their investment and ownership.
Admitted their mistakes.
Avoided trying too hard to fit in.
Challenged the status quo.
Took a break before responding to someone and taking on a new commitment.
Set boundaries and viewed them as liberating. Essentialists write down their red flags, deal breakers, lay down their priorities and take heed of negative people.
The execution process
It is critical to come up with a system to execute your essential activities, the right things the right way.
To prepare for wet days or to allocate time to respond to the unexpected, Essentialists create a buffer.
The buffer is a contingency plan for difficult circumstances, works as a risk management strategy, ensures some wiggle room to execute their activities.
To create a buffer, Essentialists:
Accurately estimate the time of the activity by adding half the time that is expected to accomplish your tasks.
Identify early all obstacles in their plan and remove them beforehand.
Take small steps, increase positive interactions and congratulate themselves and their team for small wins.
Design a routine to improve their ability to execute the essentials, to render the process easy and unconscious, to remove obstacles, to save their energy in the long run, to enhance their creativity and innovation.
Stay in the present, avoid doing too many thing at once as opposed to doing many things and focusing on one thing at a time.
the pursuit of success can be a catalyst for failure. Put another way, success can distract us from focusing on the essential things that produce success in the first place.
Discerning what is essential to explore requires us to be disciplined in how we scan and filter all the competing and conflicting facts, options, and opinions constantly vying for our attention.
By definition, applying highly selective criteria is a trade-off; sometimes you will have to turn down a seemingly very good option and have faith that the perfect option will soon come along.
Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.
In Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less,Greg Mckeown teaches us to hone our decisions making and time management skills in order to achieve more to do less and to do better, to filter out the noise and distractions, to find out what we really want out of life and pursue our dreams the most effective and disciplined way possible.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less by Greg Mckeown is destined to overachievers, to ambitious people, and to those who feel like they are spread thin in their personal and professional lives.
Indeed, when we want to be successful, we have a tendency of accepting every opportunity that comes to us, we fear that we will be missing out and we worry about everything.
Greg Mckeown shows us that we have the power to choose, that it is OK to turn down a mediocre option, with the faith that a better option comes around.
Also, this book administers practical advice, applicable to leaders, illustrated with great examples, and made me realize the number of things that hinder my productivity and my time management.
At last, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less cannot be compared with New Years resolutions but provides a new way of thinking, a new way of life.
There is a timeline model for every leader’s journey…
Indeed, a leader’s journey can be divided into successively seven distinctive steps.
1. Natural Promotion
Natural promotion is the timeline during which leaders advance without difficulties with their innate abilities.
2. Valley of Dependence
The Valley of dependence relates to where leaders strengthen their faith in God.
3. Preparation Stage
In the Preparation Stage, leaders learn new skills.
4. Valley of Wholeness
In the Valley of wholeness, leaders let go of any character flaw that would arrest their personal progress.
5. Releasing Stage
The Releasing Stage is the moment when leaders are promoted to their area of calling and expertise.
6. Valley of Identity
In the Valley of identity, leaders start distinguishing their identity from their purpose.
Finally, in the timeline of Fulfillment, leaders reach their full potential and accomplish their destiny.
The Calling Journey by Tony Stoltzfus is a Faith-based book that helps you understand, through multiple biblical figures, the plan and the life purpose of most leaders’ journey.
This inspirational and encouraging book is written for purpose driven leaders and provides us with a new understanding and a new mindset.
Thanks to this book, readers can firstly learn to trust God and translate God’s message for their calling.
Then, will they be able to acquire patience and other virtues throughout struggles by mapping out the journey with a personal calling timeline.
They will also be able to renew their mindset, gain a new perspective on events and look beyond circumstances and shift focus from self to purpose.
The Calling Journey by Tony Stoltzfus will help in removing the pressures of life and in finding the right career path right away.
Tony Stoltzfus teaches readers to take each and every traumatic experience to transform into something productive and find your calling.
Finally, this book takes us through the life of renownedleaders and biblical characters such as Joseph and mother Teresa in order to show us that finding your calling is a lengthy process.
Let me know below what you think about this book!
Much of the pain we experience in times of adversity is not from the events themselves, but from our kicking back against the pricks life is making to our ego and our beliefs. Instead of meeting God in the event, we waste energy agonizing over the wrong questions. Am I a failure? Has God passed me by? Is he even out there? Will my dreams ever come true? What is wrong with me? When we don’t squirm and struggle to get out of the places God has us, so we can get to the completely different places that we think he wants us. Understanding what God has planned makes a huge difference.
The Growth Mindset can be applied to different areas of our lives.
Growth Mindset consists in converting your past failures into successes.
It shows us how to love and cope with failures then to turn these failures into a learning experience.
The Growth Mindset allows us to challenge and stretch ourselves, to avoid a life of regrets, to cultivate our intelligence and most skills through failures and perseverance.
It encourages us to do our best, to put forth the effort where there needs to be, change the beliefs about ourselves and identify our personal qualities.
On the other hand, the Fixed Mindset limits our achievements.
The Fixed Mindset
The Fixed Mindset has been instilled in us, unbeknownst to us, since our tender childhood.
When you don’t have a Growth Mindset, you tend to:
Show more depression.
Believe that you possess fixed traits.
Look for outside validation or for people who are worse off than you are.
Feel an urge to succeed and to prove yourself.
Fixed Mindset leaders only hire people who can boost their ego and make them feel superior.
They use their company as a display of their superiority.
They tend to compare themselves to others, to become abusive and controlling, to pick on people who perform at their best.
How leaders grow their mindset?
It is possible for leaders to shift to a Growth Mindset by adopting a few habits.
Growth Mindset monitor their surrounding and thought patterns. Then, they seek to understand their implications and what they can learn from their experience.
They learn to maintain a sense of confidence and devote themselves to growing.
Furthermore, they make concrete plans that they can visualize. They understand that their plans will fail from time to time and that they will have to develop strategies to maintain their Growth Mindset.
Growth Mindset leaders don’t hide their mistakes and are not defensive about them. They don’t beat themselves up for their failures.
They ask for feedback and for more opportunities to learn. They believe that everyday is an opportunity to learn.
Finally, Growth Mindset leaders take care of their people.
They allow dissenting voices to speak up and avoid groupthink.
They don’t feel threatened by high performing employees. Instead, they help employees to improve on the job.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck is a self-help book that encourages introspection and teaches us how to develop a “Growth Mindset”.
In Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol S. Dweck shares poignant examples of people who have embraced the Growth Mindset, overcome challenges and achieved personal success.
In addition, Carol S. Dweck recaps all the ways we can be harboring a fixed mindset in our parenting, relationships and leadership.
For Carol S. Dweck in Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, compared to adults, children are eager to learn and never worry about failing.
She also asks significant questions to help us determine whether or not we have a Growth or Fixed Mindset.
I wish there were more detained and practical advice or a step by step guide on how to acquire a Growth Mindset.
Let me know below what you think about this book!
People may start with different temperaments and different aptitudes, but it is clear that experience, training, and personal effort take them the rest of the way.
Mindsets are just beliefs. They’re powerful beliefs, but they’re just something in your mind, and you can change your mind.
Even in the growth mindset, failure can be a painful experience. But it doesn’t define you. It’s a problem to be faced, dealt with, and learned from.
Real self-confidence is not reflected in a title, an expensive suit, a fancy car, or a series of acquisitions. It is reflected in your mindset: your readiness to grow.
Following through is hard but gratifying in the long run…
Some people usually don’t follow through because they self-sabotage, misuse their time and energy by procrastinating, setting impossible goals, managing their time poorly, yielding to temptations and distractions.
Other people have internal roadblocks that impede them from taking action because they are either lazy, lack discipline and willpower, fear judgement, rejection or failure, try to be perfect, are too insecure, lack self-awareness, are unconsciously protecting themselves.
Indeed, people who have interval roadblocks and who fail to follow through tend to set unrealistic expectations for themselves and end up underachieving or underperforming.
Furthermore, they overthink everything and lean towards negative thoughts which paralyzes them. Making a decision becomes difficult because they don’t have clear rules and priorities.
They also worry too much. They ruminate on past, present, future, real, fictitious problems that are most likely out of their control.
Finally, they don’t know themselves well enough to create the best goals and environment for themselves.
The Requirements of Following Through
Following through requires four elements: focus, self-discipline, action and persistence.
With focus, you are able to keep “your head in the game and your eyes on the prize”. You concentrate all your effort and energy onto achieving your goals.
With self-discipline, you are bale to regulate your thoughts, control your focus and to work regardless of your emotions and your circumstances.
With action, you are able to get closer to the finish line, execute the plan and translate your intentions.
With persistence, you will develop resilience and be able to push through until you have achieved success.
How To Start Following Through?
To start following through, you have to take a good look at yourself, build a better relationship with yourself, develop the right mindset and equip yourself with the best tools to succeed.
To develop the mindset, you must believe that:
You are capable and hard work leads to success.
The steps that you take are purposeful and fit into a bigger picture.
Discomfort is necessary to success. Following through will require you to get out of your comfort zone and do things that you have never done before.
The information and knowledge you acquire increase with the steps that you take. You learn more about yourself on top of learning new skills and life lessons.
Taking care of your mental health will reinforce your willpower and discipline.
Is Following Through Good For You?
Sometimes, you will have to make the decision to follow through or to give up.
To make the best decisions, you have to create a set of rules that will serve as a guideline, a code of conduct, a task roadmap and a mission statement.
Methods For Following Through
To stay motivated enough to follow through, you must identify the things that motivate you.
Some people want to avoid negative consequences at all cost and will do everything in their power to succeed.
Others are pushed forward by the need and desire to improve their lives.
To stop procrastinating and to follow through:
Associate your present goals with an activity that provides instant gratification.
Break down huge goals in small manageable steps.
Evaluate the risks of inaction.
Create an environment free from distractions and temptations.
Avoid multitasking and focus on one single task at a time.
Group similar tasks together and accomplish them all in one batch.
Create lists of tasks that don’t add value or that are out of your control in order to discharge your mental load.
Acquire between 40% and 70% of information.
Allow yourself to recover mentally from time to time to avoid burnout.
There are many reasons why people stay stagnant in life. In Finish What You Start: The Art of Following Through, Taking Action, Executing, & Self-Discipline, Peter Hollins breaks down the psychology and the art of following through on your goals.
Finish What You Start: The Art of Following Through, Taking Action, Executing, & Self-Discipline is recommended for people who struggle to get things done and is full of powerful tools to help you take action and achieve your goals.
Peter Hollins jumpstarts you towards your dreams, shares several tactics to execute whatever you set your mind to and makes some very good points when it comes to the mistakes people make when pursuing their goals.
Following through boils down to extracting lessons from past failures and knowing yourself well enough to create the best environments, rules and roadmaps for you to succeed.
Let me know below what you think about this book!
Focus guides your thoughts in figuring out how to follow through and directs your actions toward achieving your vision.
Leisure is an important part of life, but if it’s excessive and takes the place of reasonable productivity, then it becomes a vice.
Follow-through is 100% mental. It takes a cognitive effort to follow through on something, especially when you hit discouraging obstacles.
Stop judging yourself and others for being different. We are all different.
Our productivity is very fragile and requires particular care to flourish. Treat yourself to what helps you thrive if you want to follow through.
Furthermore, introverts can be seen as “fair, thoughtful, intelligent, competent, diligent, and trustworthy”.
How To Manage Your Introversion?
Introverts must understand their strengths and weaknesses.
Introverts must also discipline their active minds.
They tend to make assumptions and create stories in their mind that hold them back and are not always true.
Instead, they must pick stories that propel them in life.
Introverts must learn how to protect their energy and take breaks when they need to in order to rejuvenate and be more alert at work.
There are several additional strategies to manage your introversion in order to achieve success:
Keep your eyes on the prize.
Practice and fake it until you make it.
Feel fear and go towards it anyways.
Be unafraid of rejection.
Embrace solitude. Protect their space and energy.
The Skills Every Introverts Need To Succeed
Introverts need to learn other extroverted skills to make them more effective in the workplace and to get out their comfort zone.
Networking is challenging for introverts but is necessary and inevitable.
For introverts, networking seems self-serving and distasteful.
To be able to network and connect better with people, it helps to listen to people’s needs, to ask them for advice and to understand that every interaction can pay off in the long run.
2. Communicating Consciously
Because introverts withdraw in their own world, must:
Pay attention to their own thoughts.
Be careful when and how to communicate with others so that the latter don’t make negative assumptions about them.
Stay detached from their work enough to be able to socialize.
3. Promoting Themselves
Self-promotion makes introverts very uncomfortable.
However, your work will not speak for itself.
You have to learn to promote your own work and competencies.
Most books about career development and success are generally geared towards extroverts, which can get discouraging for introverts.
In The Successful Introvert, Wendy Gelberg gives hints on on how, when and where to use your introversion.
She shows that there is strength in introversion, that there are places and moments where your introversion is valuable.
The Successful Introvert by Wendy Gelberg is eye-opening. I recommend this book for shy and introverted leaders (in progress) who want to gain self-awareness, optimize their leadership and develop their career.
Some of us are not leaders yet and wish to become leaders. The thing is our introversion is often times what stops us from getting what we really want in life.
In addition, the corporate world does act like introverts are problematic and often singles them out. Introverts have to learn to accept who they truly are and make the best of their personality type.
Let me know below what you think about this book!
The key to success is versatility.
Introversion is not a limiting characteristic, although the accompanying traits may require some special accommodations (also true of extraversion, but that’s a subject
for another book). We make comparisons to people who are highly successful and see the ways in which we fall short. Meanwhile, we don’t get to see the struggles or challenges that they had to deal with, so their success looks falsely uncomplicated.
Some of the adjectives that frequently come up in describing introverts are quiet, serious, calm, reserved, detached, restrained, and private. All of these speak to our inner focus, and they can contribute to success when used appropriately.
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