#Essential Living

Beware the Pitfalls of Success

August 31, 2017



The Essentialist lives by design, not default.


Instead of . . . "How can I do it all?                  Think . . . "What am I giving up?"

Instead of . . . Saying "yes" too quickly.           Do . . .  Say "no" to everything that is not essential.

Instead of . . . being unsure about getting       Get . . . the right things done
                       the right things done

The universal challenge, however, is determining what in life is essential.  We've been told we can "have it all".  It's simply not true.  There are no more than 24 hours in a day.  Every time we choose "A", we give up time and energy for B and C. 

 If you don't prioritize your life, someone else will. 


Do we really get a choice?  Won't I lose my job if I say no to an assignment or project?  What will happen to relationships if I refuse to have my time hijacked by someone else's agenda?  How do I choose family over work?  You're not alone . . . other people are conflicted, too.

The real question is not how can we do it all, 

it is who will get to choose what we do and don't do.


Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism, explains this "paradox of success".

1.  When we are really clear about our purpose, we succeed in our effort.

2.  When we succeed, we become the "go-to" person, the one who can always be counted on to help out in a bind.  More opportunities come our way.

3.  When options and opportunities increase - more of our time and energy - our work becomes diffused.  

4.  We become distracted from our highest contribution.  Our level of success has undermined the clarity which brought us to success in the first place. 

The undisciplined pursuit of more is a catalyst for failure.


Points to Ponder:  Are you the "go to" person?  We like being acknowledged for our talents and contributions to an organization, right?  We will be more respected and become more successful, right?  What is the trade-off?

Before you climb the ladder of success, make sure it's leaning on the right wall.


Be Intentional about what is essential.



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