Reading: Essentialism

If there is one book you read this year it should be this one.

I know, I don’t even know you, and I’m telling you the only book you should read this year. Goes to show how much faith I have in this book. It’s for everyone. It’s essential. It’s for you.

This book is turning me on my head and opening my eyes and making me feel all the feels.

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Processed with VSCO with b5 preset

Some of the best ideas from this book that have stuck with me:

“The way of the Essentialist is the relentless pursuit of less but better…pursuing it in a disciplined way.”

“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.”

“For the first time–literally–substantial and rapidly growing numbers of people have choices. For the first time, they will have to manage themselves. And society is totally unprepared for it.”

“We aren’t looking for a plethora of good things to do…Instead…ask three questions: ‘What do I feel deeply inspired by?’ and ‘What am I particularly talented at?’ and ‘What meets a significant need in the world?'”

“By forcing us to weigh both options and strategically select the best one for us, we significantly increase our chance of achieving the outcome we want.”

“Nonessentialist: is too busy doing to think about life. Essentialist: creates space to escape and explore life.”

“Routine is one of the most powerful tools for removing obstacles….Instead of our consciously pursuing the essential, it will happen without our having to think about it. We won’t have to expend precious energy every day prioritizing everything.”

“To operate at your highest level of contribution requires that you deliberately tune in to what is important in the here and now…The way of the Essentialist is to tune into the present. To experience life in kairos, not just chronos. To focus on the things that are truly important–not yesterday or tomorrow, but right now.”

“The way of the Essentialist isn’t just about success, it’s about living a life of meaning and purpose….while other people are complaining about how busy they are, you will just be smiling sympathetically, unable to relate. While other people are living a life of stress and chaos, you will be living a life of impact and fulfillment. In many ways, to live as an Essentialist in our too-many-things-all-the-time society is an act of quiet revolution.”

Processed with VSCO with b5 preset
Processed with VSCO with b5 preset

One of the most profound ways this book impacted me is in decision-making. Partway through reading, I created a page in my bullet journal titled Essential Intent. I wrote what I believe my purpose in life is: To achieve salvation and live life in the image of God. Below that I divided up my life’s work into three areas: Relationship, Self, & Work.

In Relationships I listed my most important relationships–the ones I want to choose before others, the ones I want to nurture the most. Obviously, my husband and daughter made the top of the list. After that my mother, siblings, extended family, godchildren. I also chose my most important friend relationships. This felt a little weird, as I want to be a friend to all, but I realize I only have so much time to invest in friendships. When I have to make a decision, these are the relationships I want to pour into right now. These are the friendships that mean the most to me.

The Self section is about all the things I need to do to care for my self well. I included sleep, movement (rather than exercise, I like to focus on moving my body), being outdoors, practicing my faith, and reading. These will look different depending on what you find to be essential to the care of yourself.

And last, but not least, my Work. This has changed so much in the past year; the arrival of my daughter is an incredible blessing, and has also given me some major identity changes to work through. Currently my most important work that I am embracing is to educate my daughter and to be a homemaker. To me, homemaking is the art of making our home beautiful, tidy, welcoming, and maintained; this includes our indoor and outdoor spaces. I also believe healthy eating is a number one priority in my work: to make sure my family is well-fed with real foods. Also, in this category are my writing and photography, as well as some potential other interests to pursue.

“The way of the Essentialist isn’t just about success, it’s about living a life of meaning and purpose….while other people are complaining about how busy they are, you will just be smiling sympathetically, unable to relate. While other people are living a life of stress and chaos, you will be living a life of impact and fulfillment. In many ways, to live as an Essentialist in our too-many-things-all-the-time society is an act of quiet revolution.”

So grateful that I read this book, particularly at this time in my life. I can feel the gifts of essentialism finding their way into my life already. Won’t you check out this “quiet revolution”?

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1 thought on “Reading: Essentialism”

  1. “… In many ways, to live as an Essentialist in our too-many-things-all-the-time society is an act of quiet revolution.” I LOVE this! That’s exactly how I feel about Craig’s & my “practice” of minimalism, which actually is more “essentialism” (now that I read your post)–that we are revolting against the chaos that has become the accepted way. Bryn told me about your blog. I’m enjoying it! Can’t believe Josephine is is 1! ❤️

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