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Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

This book has changed the way I see at opportunities now. A must-read book for every entrepreneur and more so for those who are doing jobs.

This first graphic on the 6th page of the book sums up the complete book and explain everything.

We all focus on many trivial things. How doing few but vital things with the right focus can help us achieve lot more. I liked this picture so much that I have set it as my wallpaper.

There are many examples of highly successful in every profession like leaders, journalist, politicians, lawyers, doctors, investors, athletes, artists who have managed to achieve more by doing less. I will share a couple of experiments from the book that has made a lot of difference to my thinking in many ways.

Example1: Price Vs Value of Item

The author shared an experiment by a Nobel prize winning researcher Daniel Kahneman.

Randomly gave coffee mugs to half the people and were asked how much they will be willing to sell it for? The other half was asked what they will be willing to pay for the mug?

People were not willing to sell for anything less than $5.25 but those who were asked to purchase were offering it in a range of $2.25 to $2.75.

The ownership adds more value to the object.

The experiment had an instant effect on me. I value so much more things that I own that at times I feel very difficult to let it go.

I couldn’t sell GlobalDevelopers.net because it was my first website. I had a domain registered for 10 years and in 2014 finally had to let it expire.

I value websites that I own but if I had to purchase them now, may not spend a dime.

See also:

Example2: Decision Based On …

Couldn’t resist sharing this example.

You spend $100 on a ticket for a weekend ski trip to Michigan. Several weeks later you buy another $50 on a ticket for a weekend ski trip to Wisconsin. You know for sure you will enjoy Wisconsin ski trip more than Michigan ski trip.

As you put are putting your Wisconsin ski trip in your wallet you notice both the trip are for the same weekend and its too late for you to sell, return or cancel.

Now which destination you will prefer to go?

More than half of the people opted for the expensive trip though they will enjoy less because they want to waste less money.

My choice of destination was also the more expensive.

If the options were to pay $150 and choose any one destination, more people will choose Wisconsin because they will enjoy more in Wisconsin.

The decision is not based on what we will enjoy but where we waste less.

Non-Essentialist Vs Essentialist

There are many examples in the book that will make you think what you are doing and what you should be doing.

Let me share few vital difference that author has pointed out between a non-essentialist and essentialist. See if you are an essentialist?

Non-EssentialistEssentialist
I have toI choose to
Everything is essentialEverything is non-essential
Views opportunities as equalDistinguishes the vital few from trivial many
How can I do it allWhat can I go big on
Is too busy thinking about lifeCreate space to escape and explore life
Is overwhelmed by all informationFinds essence of information
Thinks sleep isluxuryKnows sleep is priority
Has vague mission and vision statementHas strategy that is concrete and inspirational
Says yes to everythingSays Yes to things that matter
Sees boundaries as constrainsSees boundaries as liberating
Forces execution at the last minutePractices early preparation
Does moreBrings forth more
Start with a big goal and gets small resultsStarts small and get big results
Worries about the future or stresses about the pastEnjoys the moment

And many more such comparison of non-essentialist to essentialist.

See also:

Final Thoughts

Essentialism is a habit that requires clear and concise routine. The book will help you make a move from being a non-essentialist to essentialist which is a mantra for success.

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