In the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown, the author discusses the importance of self-determination as a philosophy of life. The main point he makes is that if you don’t prioritize your life, then someone else will. He also explains the difference between people whom he calls Essentialists and Nonessentialists. He then clarifies how people can follow the path of the Essentialist to achieve what they want in life.
Essentialists, on one hand, live their lives the way they want in pursuit of their dreams. Nonessentialists, on the other hand, simply accept what life gives them without going after what they desire. The key factor, he says, is the power of choice.
Nonessentialists waste a lot their time and energy doing things that don’t add value to their lives because they view everything as important. As a result, they don’t get what they want and so they feel sorry for themselves and look down on others – they simply don’t have the wherewithal to live their lives the way they’d prefer. By contrast, Essentialists choose what matters to them and ignore that which doesn’t, which leaves them with the resources and availability to live life the way they want.
How to use the power of choice to discern what matters most
If you feel as though you’re not as in control of your life as you’d like to be, there are a few things you can do to reprioritize your life and become an Essentialist. Once you do this, you’ll find that the quality of your life is greatly improved. Discerning what matters most to you can be difficult, but here’s a process you can follow which will help guide you:
- Choose to take control of your life – The first step to discerning what matters most is deciding that you want to be in control of your life. This is the highest priority and most important choice you can make to become an Essentialist.
- Decide what your life goals are – Envision what you would like to accomplish in your life. Having goals in mind will help you to determine what matters to you and what doesn’t.
- Make a plan and act on it – Once you know what your goals are, you can put together a plan for how you will achieve them. Thus, your priorities will become clear and then it’s only a matter of time before you realize your dreams. You’ll also see that many things you once worried about no longer matter and you won’t be controlled by them anymore.
You have the power to live your life the way you want because of the power of choice. With this power, you can accomplish anything. It’s only a matter of deciding what’s important to you and focusing on your priorities.