Books & Principles to Base Your Life On
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Essentialism is about only getting the right things done. Amid today’s faster harder louder mentality, this is the perfect book to realign. Greg McKeown elaborates on three questions throughout the book: How can we discern the trivial many from the vital few? How can we cut out the trivial many? and: How can we make doing the vital few almost effortless?
I LOVED the chapter “Escape: The Perks of Being Unavailable”.
Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport
Seek skill and let passion follow in that quest. Cal argues that passion is rare, even dangerous. Seeking passion for many many people is bad advice. What we do is less important than how we do it. In this context, Cal stresses the importance of deliberate practice as means to become so good one cannot be ignored. Adding to this he shows ways on how to gain more control over one’s work and create a sense of mission.
To this day this is the book I gave away most often. The book title is misleading. It’s a great example, that you can’t judge a book by its cover. In short, this book is about maximizing your per hour output. Ever since there are certain chapters I review regularly. One of them introduces the idea of cultivating selective ignorance. In a knowledge industry, the amount of information available exceeds the capacities of our attention by far. If we want to get things done one big leverage point is to go on a low information diet:
“Lifestyle design is based on massive action— output. Increased output necessitates decreased input. Most information is time-consuming, negative, irrelevant to your goals, and outside of your influence. I challenge you to look at whatever you read or watched today and tell me that it wasn’t at least two of the four.”
Tim adds as a directive:
“Develop the habit of asking yourself, “Will I definitely use this information for something immediate and important? It’s not enough to use information for “something”— it needs to be immediate and important. If “no” on either count, don’t consume it. Information is useless if it is not applied to something important or if you will forget it before you have a chance to apply it.”