Everything is not important for a successful life- Insights from Essentialism - Being Motivational

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Thursday, July 2, 2020

Everything is not important for a successful life- Insights from Essentialism

Everything is not important for a successful life
Warren Buffett known as the king of investing world chooses one among the 100 opportunities he gets and ignores the 99. He believes this is the difference between normal people and successful people. Normal people say yes to everything and successful people say no to almost everything. Because everything is not important for a successful life.

If you think you get little time to complete any task and you get confused and fail to achieve something big, then this post is for you. In this post, we would like to get some inspiration from the book “Essentialism” by Greg Mckeown, who has consulted Apple, Facebook, Google, and other such big enterprises.

This book has inspired many people around the world who utilize this technique in their day to day life by less time to achieve huge success.

Let’s then dive into the learning of 'Essentialism' and see how everything is not important for a successful life.

1.Become an editor of your life

Movies that won Oscar are edited several times and those scenes which seem less important are removed or replaced with better ones. Today the busy schedule of people has become their status symbol because they have been internalized that hard work is a must for success. They treat busyness as hard work and in the process, they take more projects and contracts to remain more and more involved with the work. This thing they called hard work, which according to their perception will land them among successful people.

Hard work is a way of success but that should be in the right direction. Hard work without any specific direction is a waste of energy, money, and time. For example, if a person walks a total distance of 1km and changes his directions frequently and another person walks 1km in a single direction; who do you think has covered maximum length from the start point? It is the second one who gave a direction to his journey, although both covered same distance.

So here is the key.
Which thing to avoid is as important as the thing you choose? Being busy does not necessarily mean being productive. In the same class, only a few get the conceptual clarity of some topic, even though all are physically present there.

If you think about your daily schedule you will come to know that there are many things which are less important and unnecessarily fill your time.

Pareto Principle

According to the “Pareto Principle”, 80% of your results require just 20% of your efforts and 20% of your results are due to 80% of efforts. You have to decide whether you should work on your 20% of efforts to get 80% of results or you run after 20% of results and in-process waste 80% of your efforts.
Pareto Principle

These 80 % of efforts are not important, so better to ignore them!!

The 80-20 principle is applicable in every field.

No doubt you work hard, but success comes by doing work on the right things not on everything. A lift in the building moves up or down by pressing the right button not by pressing all buttons.

Now it becomes very much important for you to identify the right things for you, in other words, you need to find your 20% of things which can give you up to 80% of productivity. To know which of your 20% input will give you 80% of output, you need to understand the concept of 'essentialism'.

What is 'essentialism' after all?

'Essentialism' is investing your time and energy only in those things which are essential for providing an optimum contribution to the things that matter most to you. It means working on only few important things that will give lead to your life.

It teaches you to choose your work, rather than work chooses you. When you choose something for you, it is natural that your focus would be more on that thing.

 It teaches you how to achieve the highest possible position by applying efforts at the right place and at the right time.

You should consider the fact that you are delegating most of your time. When you say yes to something, at the same time, unknowingly you say no to many things.

Suppose, your friend asks you to go for a ride or a movie and you say yes, then simultaneously you say no to many important things like studies.

If you do not choose where your time and energy should be invested, others will decide for you. Would you like that? of course no!

2.Learn to say ‘no’ gracefully.

Paul Rand who has designed the logo of many big companies like IBM and Westinghouse rejected the offer to design a logo for Steve Jobs. Steve wanted to make variant designs of his company ‘NEXT’ for the people from Paul which he rejected because he wanted to design a single logo for him as per his choice. Finally, Steve Jobs made a single logo from Paul and was so much satisfied with the professionalism of Paul.

The point is, initially Paul could have become unpopular in the eyes of Steve for some time but in the long run, he got respect from him.

This may happen with you somewhere in life when you actually wanted to say a ‘no’ to a person but to please him you say ‘yes’. Latter you regret that a ‘no’ could have done much better. Sometimes a ‘no’ to people may be difficult because you think it affects relationships. But if you want to be effective you have to learn this art of saying no.

How you can gracefully say a no to people?

You could employ one among the 3 ways to say no to people:

a.     Awkward pause

Just before you say no take an awkward pause for few seconds and say no. It shows that you are not interested in the offer.

b.     Artificial delay

If you are not sure about whether you should say yes to someone then you can use this method. Just say, “I have numerous tasks yet to finish so I can’t promise but I will check the schedule and will communicate to you latter”. This way you will get some time to think over it and check if it essential now or not.

c.     Suggest someone else

It’s use is easy. When you think you are not interested in an offer you can suggest a person who has a genuine interest in doing that work.

You don’t have to say ‘no’ to everything, but to offers which are non-essential for you, so that, so could say ‘yes’ to the things that matters most to you.

As you start to work on your essential things, you would continue to make progress in your field. You would then get many opportunities and more people would like to work with you.

But if you are not able to define what is essential and what is non-essential for you than any sort of success will not last for long.

3.Set Boundaries

Maintaining a gap or a boundary in your life is important for your mental and social health. Work inside the line of your principles and never cross them. Do your work on time, read while reading, play while playing, give the current work its space, and don’t like interference.

Keep your office work there don’t bring it home. Just like you are not allowed to bring children to the office, you should not allow your office to your home.


Everything is not important for you so become editor of your life and cut those things from your life which are less important for your growth and success. This way you will give maximum time to those things which are more important for you.

Learn to say 'no' gracefully, it will bring order and direction to your work.

Set boundaries- Build some ethics in your life in a way that avoids toxic people, distraction and non-essential things from you. It will refine your work.

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