In the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown, the author says that an Essentialist is someone who lives life the way they want by focusing on what matters most to them. This contrasts with the lifestyle of a Nonessentialist; a person who isn’t in control of their life because they think everything matters and so they lose sight of their objectives. The main purpose of the philosophy of Essentialism is to help you improve the quality of your life.
Quality implies a degree of exclusivity, meaning in this case that an Essentialist simply doesn’t accept or validate things that distract them from having the life they want. To be an Essentialist, you must ignore trivial matters and focus only on your highest priorities. Your life goals and objectives should be your top concern.
How to focus on what matters
Unfortunately, it can be easy to become distracted by the tidal waves of nonessential information which we’re constantly inundated with in day-to-day life. Sometimes, one interruption or disturbance is all that it takes to throw you off your game and make you forget what really matters. Here are a few things you can do to buffer your mind against disruptions and stay focused on your priorities:
Practice mindfulness – This means making a consistent and conscious effort to monitor and control your state of mind throughout the day. When you do this, you’ll be able to recognize when you’re losing focus and take steps to get yourself back on track. Distractions, doubts, and fears enter everyone’s mind from time to time, but you don’t have to let them stay there and you definitely don’t have to be controlled by them.
Think of the bigger picture – There are all kinds of things that can cause us to become worried or distracted, but virtually none of them are relevant to the pursuit of our goals. If you feel like you’re becoming bogged down in the minutiae of life, you can take a step back and remind yourself of your priorities. As a result, the little things that bother you will no longer seem so important, because they’re not.
Reframe failure in a positive way – One of the biggest anxieties people have about pursuing their dreams is the fear of failure. However, having the courage to take risks and learn from failure can show us how we might eventually succeed. When we look at it like this, failure is no longer a negative consequence and can actually be a good thing.
Practicing Essentialism can help you improve the quality of your life. The way to accomplish this is to determine what your priorities are and shut out everything that doesn’t meet your standards of importance. This can be difficult at first, but soon you’ll discover that it becomes easy to focus only on what matters.