changing your relationship with 'no' elimination of non-essentials essentialism greg mckeown the disciplined pursuit of less Nov 21, 2022

Welcome to Weekly Whisper #81.

The disciplined pursuit of less… but better

I often wonder whether the books, articles or people I ‘bump’ into are a reflection of my unconscious bias to support my own interest or learning or to help the clients I serve. Either way, I’ve been reflecting a lot – for myself and my clients – about some of the insights in Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism.

The premise being, that the amount of information, data, tasks, priorities, and things to get done can be so overwhelming that if we were to focus on the vital few that make the biggest difference, then perhaps we might get better outcomes.

In working with clients I’ve been struck by how many are (supposedly) focused on numerous priorities. Like many of us, I’m sure we’re trying to juggle many seemingly ‘most important’ things. The irony being, that at any one point in time there can be only ONE most important thing. When we attempt to have numerous most important things they are often never optimised.

It takes discipline, effort, and focus to pursue less. But what a wonderful possibility the outcomes might present for you.

Consider how many things you have on the go. I’d assume your plate is brimming! What would it be like if you were focused on less but went a little deeper?

Could you say no to a few less important things and therefore say yes to the few most important things?

In order to focus we have to escape to focus – Greg McKeown

I’ve come across this many times in my career when people (including me) have used the excuse that we are time-poor and don’t have the time to do some of the non-urgent but important stuff.

I’ve written before about how I don’t think we are nearly as often time-poor as we think. I think we are more space-poor.

Imagine being at work when you receive a call that a loved one has been in an accident and you have to get to the hospital. I’m not sure there are many people that would claim ‘I don’t have the time. I’ll get to it next week’!!

We make time for the things we perceive as important.

Unfortunately, urgency often screws with importance. And because we are often at the mercy of other people’s (and often competing) priorities, then we feel compelled to try and squeeze everything onto a relatively small plate.

So, whether it’s meditating to escape the noise or taking time out to reset and recover, or doing something to re-kindle your spirit how are you making the most of your focus by escaping to do so?

Question of the week:
Are you willing to change your relationship with “no”?

Another premise from the book Essentialism.

Often our struggle in the juggle of many things is that we are reluctant to say ‘no’.

In our reluctance to say ‘no’ our shoulders become 5 miles wide with the burden of trying to get so much done.

We play out an unconscious narrative that saying no is somehow detrimental to everyone else apart from ourselves.

I dare you to say no once in a while and see what happens.

Quote of the week:
The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials – Lin Yutang

How much of your energy is drained by the un-limitless amount of noise available to our senses?

How much of your attention is re-directed to life’s thin things?

How much of your time and space have you invested in the non-essential aspects of your life?

You’ve got the wisdom. Now execute. Stop focusing on the non-essentials.

Did you miss the Freedom Fridays Episode featuring Alex Moffat?

In episode #63 Pete chats with his first-ever guest on the podcast, Alex Moffat.

Alex’s circumstances have changed since they first spoke and he now has far greater freedom than before. Pete and Alex discuss how this can be as scary as it is empowering.

The conversation weaves in some tales about magic – the side hustle Alex is currently building. They also explore the emotions of being made redundant and the distinction between the ‘role’ being made redundant and not ‘the person’ being made redundant.

If you find yourself in the space of having too much freedom or time on your hands then Alex offers some real-life ‘live’ examples of what you can do to balance the uncertainty.




That's all for this week. I hope you enjoyed Weekly Whisper #81.

Feedback is my fuel so if you have any comments please send me an email at [email protected] and let me know your thoughts.




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