As a company, a family and as an individual we have embraced a ‘slow’ minimalist approach to life rather than the popular alternative of the ‘hustle’ culture. It means we have learnt (and continue learning) how to listen to our bodies and minds to identify unhealthy patterns or negative internal dialogue that prevents us from reaching our full potential, both in personal and professional life.
Another concept that came along with the journey was that of ‘essentialism’, which is interconnected with living a more conscious life. Greg McKewon, author of ‘essentialism- the disciplined pursuit of less’ describes it as understanding that “only a few things matter” and we “can do anything but not everything”.
It isn’t easy to go against the grain and reject the ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality that we have been sold, which basically dictates that with greater competition our only advantage is to work harder, add on to our infamous to-do lists and ultimately sacrifice more in order to achieve ‘results’. However, this mentality is flawed as is apparent in the increasingly worrying number of burn outs at early ages in the past years.
Here is where essentialism plays an important role in shifting our perspective:
1. Most things are non-essential
The key to essentialism is focusing on the ‘bigger picture’ and viewing your life from an outsiders perspective. Really releasing the pressure and external noise and asking yourself “what impact will this have in my life?” and the reality is that, most of the time, the answer is NONE. We often fill ourselves with tasks that take up a lot of space and time, but really make no significance difference in our futures. Once we understand this, it becomes a very refreshing and comforting feeling of letting go of what does not truly matter. Letting go of the fear of missing out, and starting to subtract from your life instead of add on.
2. Less is better
Focusing your energy in one task that fulfills you or engages you in a healthy way is much more powerful and efficient than multitasking or trying to do it all just to prove to yourself (or others) that you can. By being selective in what you spend your energy on you will not only preserve more energy for the actual essential things in your life, but you will also find a new level of concentration that will guide your towards your real potential. Whether it is in your professional or personal life, think about it as becoming a true master at a particular skill you chose to nourish!
3. Choose wisely
Making sure you are not only subtracting, but consciously subtracting that which is non-essential in your life is crucial. Think about all the tasks and activities you do in a day. Out of everything you do think about what is not fulfilling you, it could be scrolling through your social media for 30 mins at a time, responding to small talk texts all day long, social obligations that are not serving you in any way... etc. This is where saying ‘no’ comes in. It definitely takes practice and it can be uncomfortable at first especially if you are typically a ‘I can do it all’ type of person. However, not only will others around you learn to respect your time more but you yourself will learn to honor and respect your own time and your energy, which will have a huge positive impact in your self-esteem and relationship with yourself.
Implementing the concept of essentialism into your life will give you a healthier perspective, a way to live more simply and wholesomely and most importantly more time! By practicing an essentialist approach you will free up space (mental and physical) to do more of what you consciously choose and love!