Monday, November 20, 2017

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of LessEssentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Here is my one sentence summary for essentialism: essentialism is realistic minimalism. Where minimalism says to try to live with as little as possible, essentialism challenges you to live with and do the most important things and let all of the optional stuff be optional. No, like really optional. Like don't do things just because someone else wants you to, or thinks they are essential for you. You decide what is essential, and that is what you must do, or have, in life.

I think it is important to point out that this is not minimilism because an essentialist might live in a big house with lots of stuff, or be very busy and in lots of organizations/ groups. The difference is that the essentialist in that situation has decided those things are essential to them. The magic in this concept is that most often people find that most of their stuff, activities, and yes, people, are non-essential.

I likes this book, and I feel it is another advertisement for the contemporary philosophy around thoughtful living. While I don't agree with all of the implementations of this philosophy, I do think it is positive for my generation to be questioning the speed at which we live, and the costs of our largely digital lifestyles. To borrow (or apply?) a concept from my marketing classes, I think this is the zeitgeist of our times. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is another such book, which in my mind is further away from the center on the spectrum of the digital nomad's search for meaning.

It was not bad read, and I liked it, but I wouldn't put this on my must read list on its own merits alone. If you are feeling overwhelmed and ineffective in life due to the amount of stuff around you, or number of commitments you have to others, this might be a book that would help you make some improvements.