I just started re-reading the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown . It is mainly for business leaders, but I found it has many fantastic nuggets of advice that fit like a missing puzzle piece in the search for balance and moderation.
It’s subtitled, “The disciplined pursuit of less but better.” The author goes into detail about those in business that are stretched too thin, trying to accomplish it all and trying to please everyone. Hello…isn’t that the description of today’s modern mom, (and Dad for that matter.)
Between work, children, school, extended family, household chores, extra curricular obligations, food shopping and prep, and all the myriad of things that have to run like clockwork to keep a household going. Of course we a over scheduled and stretched too thin. This is where the book really hits home with me.
In our overconsumptive society, we feel that to be successful we must have more. More friends, more stuff, more activities, but the more doesn’t come with more fulfillment, or as the author puts it “more productive contribution.” The author reminds us that it’s what we contribute that matters not what we consume.
Most women by nature are people pleasers and have difficulty saying no. Men, on the other hand, feel a primal need to provide for their offspring. These motivators frequently results in more time and energy essentially waste on things that do not contribute to what we find most important.
For example, do my kids need yet another activity that will create added travel time, cost and preparation. Does my husband need to spend countless hours working outside the home in order to provide us with things that are not essential to our family. These examples result in little real productive, quality time and often add stress and tension for all involved.
Essentialism goes on to discuss pairing down and peeling away layers to get to what is truly essential and important to you and what you want to accomplish. Although, this is hard at first, in the end it is where true happiness lies.
It also makes the valid argument that if you do not dictate where you time is spent, others will hijack your time an decide for you. This is where the art of saying “no” is critical. I’ll admit I really struggle with this and find it is a primary fault in my search for balance.
Books like Essentialism plainly layout why it is so important to find where your priority lies. It stresses the importance of eliminating extraneous things that distract from this.
Even though this book was written with the business leader/entrepreneur in mind. the message and information is essential in the search for balance through moderation.