READ THIS IF…
- If you’re a very busy leader or a person who’s really in demand
- You want to learn to say “No.” without feeling guilty (but also, if you’re someone who won’t get fired if you say no to a task/meeting)
- You want to value simplicity more (although I’m sure there’s a better book about simplicity out there somewhere)
Already convinced? Click to buy on Amazon.
Ang subtitle nya ay The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. I had high hopes dito sa book na ‘to. Kala ko more on about minimalism and simplicity sya. Well, tungkol naman sya dun pero akala ko holistic yung approach. Pero hindi pala.
Unfortunately, this book wasn’t what I expected. Although the author tried giving practical examples, the book is more catered to business leaders (specifically C-level executives).
Despite all of that, may mga lessons pa rin naman akong napulot. Super natamaan ako dito:
It was like he was majoring in minor activities…
Minsan kasi, pag meron nga akong bagong hobby, dun nabubuhos yung energy ko. Tapos nalilimutan ko na yung major activitiy ko which is yung online shop ko. Basta nawalan ako ng gana mag-create ng bagong sticker designs. Kasi masyado akong engrossed sa bagong interest na nadiscover ko. Kaya mas gusto kong maging mindful na wag ‘mag-major sa minor activities’.
I think yung bidang bida dito na sinabi nya ay we have to determine our highest point of contribution. Which means na dapat magfocus talaga dun sa major activity na yun. I think magkaka-struggle ako dito kasi ang bilis ko ma-bore at sobrang curious ko kasing tao na ang dami ko talagang gusto i-try. Pero may point din naman talaga yung sinasabi dito kaso hindi ko alam kung magiging masaya ko na sa isang bagay ko lang ginugugol yung oras ko. And I don’t think kaya ko yung ganun.
Nung binabasa ko ‘to, actually nafi-feel bad ako. Kasi parang and demotivating nya for me. Kasi parang sinasabi nya na hindi ka magiging successful kung masyado kang madaming pinagtutuunan ng pansin. Pero may napanood akong YT video ni Thomas Frank na medyo taliwas sa sinasabi dun sa book. Siguro kanya-kanyang style lang talaga. Mas pipiliin ko yung sinabi ni Thomas Frank na it’s okay to have a lot of interests.
Pero we’ll see. Baka naman phase ko lang ‘to and dumating ako sa point na ayoko na ng madaming hanash and mag-focus na lang talaga ko sa isa. For now parang di talaga sya applicable sakin.
Although nai-imagine ko yung appeal pag isa (or dalwa) lang yung focus mo. Parang less stressful sya sa brain. Kasi nga kung madami ka masyadong activities, ang dami mo ding decisions na kelangan pagisipan.
Psychologists call this “decision fatigue”: the more choices we are forced to make, the more the quality of our decisions deteriorates.
Parang napaisip tuloy ako. Pagisipan ko nga ‘tong mabuti. Kasi baka nga naaapektohan lang yung decision ko na madaming gawin dahil sa mga nakikita ko sa social media. Ang dami kasing interesting talaga.
While much has been said and written about how hyperconnected we now are and how distracting this information overload can be, the larger issue is how our connectedness has increased the strength of social pressure. Today, technology has lowered the barrier for others to share their opinion about what we should be focusing on. It is not just information overload; it is opinion overload.
Pero may joy kasi akong nararamdaman eh pag may nata-try akong kakaiba. Hahaha ewan! For now kung ano na lang gusto kong gawin. Hahayaan ko yung sarili ko na i-try yung mga gusto kong i-try.
Meron akong nalaman about sa word na ‘priority’ na prinesent dito sa book. Yung word na priority pala ay walang plural form dati. Kasi priority nga diba. Super nagme-make sense. Na-start lang daw na i-pluralize yung word nung 1900s. Pero as if naman daw magbabago yung essence ng meaning ng priority kahit i-pluralize sya.
Illogically, we reasoned that by changing the word we could bend reality. Somehow we would now be able to have multiple “first” things. People and companies routinely try to do just that. One leader told me of his experience in a company that talked of “Pri-1, Pri-2, Pri-3, Pri-4, and Pri-5.” This gave the impression of many things being the priority but actually meant nothing was.
Back to focusing on one (or two) things, may binigay syang guideline para daw ma-determine mo kung anong priority mo. Eto daw yung mga questions na itatanong mo sa sarili mo:
- What do I feel deeply inspired by?
- What am I particularly talented at?
- What meets a significant need in the world?
Ako kasi ang major priority ko is art. And parang nasagot nya yung queston #1 and #3. I truly believe that the world needs art. As in NEED. Pero syempre, sobrang daming forms of art. Sobrang sobrang hirap piliin kung san ako magf-focus.
Eto. May concern ako dun sa #2. Ita-try ko ‘tong sabihin as humbly as I can. Pero parang kahit ano kasing i-try ko na art related, parang kaya kong gawin na medyo (super medyo) above average. Parang ang dali ko syang ma-pickup. Eto naman ay personal opinion ko lang. Baka iba lang yung standard ko ng maganda. Pero proud ako sa kaya kong gawin. Hindi naman siguro masama na maging proud sa sarili. Haha parang ang yabang pa din pakinggan!! Pero sige kahit pa. Mag-stick ako dun. May mga magdedefend naman siguro ng claim ko 😂
Siguro kaya lang din ako nahihirapan na pumili ng isa lang, kasi hindi ko naman hinahangad na super maging successful sa isang bagay. Hindi ko dream maging billionnaire (millionnaire lang. lolz). Basta masaya ako sa ginagawa ako at hindi ako masyadong nasstress at nabubuhay naman kami ng maayos, solb na ko dun.
The overwhelming reality is: we live in a world where almost everything is worthless and a very few things are exceptionally valuable. As John Maxwell has written, “You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.“
Haha parang nambabatok talaga ‘tong book na ‘to. Hindi ko alam kung dapat ba binasa ko ‘to.
Eto medyo practical advise. Siguro isa ‘to sa mga pinakagusto kong thought process sa book na ‘to.
The reality is, saying yes to any opportunity by definition requires saying no to several others.
“If the answer isn’t a definite yes then it should be a no.” It is a succinct summary of a core Essentialist principle, and one that is critical to the process of exploration.
Example, if I say yes to watching several hours of YouTube videos, I’m saying no to other quality activities like reading, improving my piano playing or drawing. Although hindi ako makapag-drawing at piano ngayon. Sumasakit pa din talaga braso at wrist ko. Hays.
Nonessentialists get excited by virtually everything and thus react to everything.
Bastos. Eh di ako na ang nonessentialist! Haha 🤣 Pero etong following quote (unrelated sa previous) super gusto ko din ‘to:
When we play, we are engaged in the purest expression of our humanity, the truest expression of our individuality. Is it any wonder that often the times we feel most alive, those that make up our best memories, are moments of play?
Play expands our minds in ways that allow us to explore: to germinate new ideas or see old ideas in a new light. It makes us more inquisitive, more attuned to novelty, more engaged. Play is fundamental to living the way of the Essentialist because it fuels exploration.
Isang magandang na-realize ko while reading this passage is not to always think of monetization. I’ll explain. Madalas kasi, kaya ko naman ginawa ‘tong isang bagay na ‘to kasi gusto ko lang. To ‘play’ kumbaga. At hindi porke’t may possibility na pagkakitaan ko sya, is dun na ko magf-focus. Kasi kung naka-focus ako sa monetization, tapos hindi mag-succeed, I will just feel bad. Which in the first place, kaya ko naman talaga ginawa yung bagay na yun ay dahil interesado ako at feeling ko mag-eenjoy ako. Bakit biglang naging pera yung usapan?
Isa pang gusto ko (ang dami ko naman palang nagustuhan) ay yung sinabi nya na ‘protect the asset’. At yung asset na yun ay sarili natin. Kaya pleaseee. Alagaan natin ang mga sarili natin. And super directed ‘tong sinasabi ko sa sarili ko. Feeling ko mas kaya ko pang alagaan ang sarili ko in terms of exercise and healthy eating.
Punta naman tayo sa mga nonessential things na nagagawa natin just because of social pressures.
When we are unclear about our real purpose in life—in other words, when we don’t have a clear sense of our goals, our aspirations, and our values—we make up our own social games. We waste time and energies on trying to look good in comparison to other people. We overvalue nonessentials like a nicer car or house, or even intangibles like the number of our followers on Twitter or the way we look in our Facebook photos. As a result, we neglect activities that are truly essential, like spending time with our loved ones, or nurturing our spirit, or taking care of our health.
Yung note ko dito sa passage na ‘to ay, “Just live freely.” Basta gawin mo kasi gusto mo. Paniwalaan mo kasi yun ang naiisip mong dapat. Kasi pag ginagawa mo dahil sa external factors, hindi ka free. Nagcoconform ka lang sa sinasabi at iniisip ng iba.
We have good reasons to fear saying no. We worry we’ll miss out on a great opportunity. We’re scared of rocking the boat, stirring things up, burning bridges. We can’t bear the thought of disappointing someone we respect and like. None of this makes us a bad person. It’s a natural part of being human. Yet as hard as it can be to say no to someone, failing to do so can cause us to miss out on something far more important.
I think mas natutunan ko na ‘tong gawin ngayon. Yung pag may lakad or online event na kahit interested ako, kung taliwas sya sa flow ng araw ko, hindi ako nate-tempt na umattend. Eto yung sinabi ko noon na JOMO (Joy of Missing Out). Here are two long but great passages about social pressures:
And while conforming to what people in a group expect of us—what psychologists call normative conformity—is no longer a matter of life and death, the desire is still deeply ingrained in us. This is why, whether it’s an old friend who invites you to dinner or a boss who asks you to take on an important and high-profile project, or a neighbor who begs you to help with the PTA bake sale, the very thought of saying no literally brings us physical discomfort. We feel guilty. We don’t want to let someone down. We are worried about damaging the relationship. But these emotions muddle our clarity. They distract us from the reality of the fact that either we can say no and regret it for a few minutes, or we can say yes and regret it for days, weeks, months, or even years.
As Peter Drucker said, “People are effective because they say ‘no,’ because they say, ‘this isn’t for me.’ ”
To eliminate nonessentials means saying no to someone. Often. It means pushing against social expectations. To do it well takes courage and compassion. So eliminating the nonessentials isn’t just about mental discipline. It’s about the emotional discipline necessary to say no to social pressure.
Okay last. Super na-shookt (madalas kong iniiwasan tong term na ‘to pero ang swak nya lang sa feelings ko on this) lang ako dito kay Michaelangelo:
I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.Michaelangelo
Grabeeeee ang genius. Sinong ibang makakaisip nito 🤯
RATING [2.5 🌟]
Although this book gives sound advice, I had a hard time applying the concepts to my personal life especially if the examples are always in a big, high tech industry.
There were also some parts that are repetitive which I think go against ‘Essentialism’.
If you still feel that this book is for you, you can use my Amazon affiliate link: https://amzn.to/30eJ3aA. Thanks!
The way of the Essentialist means living by design, not by default.
…stop hyper-focusing on all the minor details and see the bigger picture.
“Sir Ken Robinson, who has made the study of creativity in schools his life’s work, has observed that instead of fueling creativity through play, schools can actually kill it: “We have sold ourselves into a fast-food model of education, and it’s impoverishing our spirit and our energies as much as fast food is depleting our physical bodies.… Imagination is the source of every form of human achievement. And it’s the one thing that I believe we are systematically jeopardizing in the way we educate our children and ourselves.
If it isn’t a clear yes, then it’s a clear no.
To follow, without halt, one aim: There is the secret to success.Anna Pavlova | Russian ballet dancer
The fact is, motivation and cooperation deteriorate when there is a lack of purpose.
A Nonessentialist approaches every trade-off by asking, “How can I do both?” Essentialists ask the tougher but ultimately more liberating question, “Which problem do I want?“
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.Stephen R. Covey
Sunk-cost bias is the tendency to continue to invest time, money, or energy into something we know is a losing proposition simply because we have already incurred, or sunk, a cost that cannot be recouped.
There should be no shame in admitting to a mistake; after all, we really are only admitting that we are now wiser than we once were.
About adding value by subracting:
…an editor actually adds. What I mean is that a good editor is someone who uses deliberate subtraction to actually add life to the ideas, setting, plot, and characters.
As Michael Kahn explains, he doesn’t always do what Spielberg tells him to do; instead, he does what he thinks Spielberg really wants.
To attain knowledge add things every day. To attain wisdom subract things everyday.Lao-tzu
A passage about bums and how the parents are also at fault:
Once, the parents of a twenty-five-year-old man came to see him. They wanted him to “fix” their son. He asked them why they had come without their son, and they said, “Well, he doesn’t think he has a problem.” After listening to their story Henry concluded, to their surprise: “I think your son is right. He doesn’t have a problem.… You do.… You pay, you fret, you worry, you plan, you exert energy to keep him going. He doesn’t have a problem because you have taken it from him.
…build in buffers to reduce the friction caused by the unexpected.
1. Be clear about the essential intent
We can’t know what obstacles to remove until we are clear on the desired outcome. When we don’t know what we’re really trying to achieve, all change is arbitrary.
…when you learn a new word it takes several repetitions at various intervals for the word to be mastered. To recall the word later you will need to activate the same synapses until eventually you know the word without consciously thinking about it.
It is mind-bending to consider that in practical terms we only ever have now. We can’t control the future in a literal sense, just the now. Of course, we learn from the past and can imagine the future. Yet only in the here and now can we actually execute on the things that really matter.
Nonessentialists tend to be so preoccupied with past successes and failures, as well as future challenges and opportunities, that they miss the present moment.
Multitasking [possible] vs Multifocusing [not possible]
He (Mohandas K. Gandhi) spent three years not reading any newspapers because he found that their contents added only nonessential confusion to his life.
…he devoted his life to helping the people of India gain independence. He intentionally never held a political position of any kind, yet he became, officially within India, the “Father of the Nation.
Mga panghuling pasabog ni author:
Once you become an Essentialist, you will find that you aren’t like everybody else. When other people are saying yes, you will find yourself saying no. When other people are doing, you will find yourself thinking. When other people are speaking, you will find yourself listening. When other people are in the spotlight, vying for attention, you will find yourself waiting on the sidelines until it is time to shine. While other people are padding their résumés and building out their LinkedIn profiles, you will be building a career of meaning. While other people are complaining (read: bragging) about how busy they are, you will just be smiling sympathetically, unable to relate. While other people are living a life of stress and chaos, you will be living a life of impact and fulfillment. In many ways, to live as an Essentialist in our too-many-things-all-the-time society is an act of quiet revolution.
The life of an Essentialist is a life lived without regret. If you have correctly identified what really matters, if you invest your time and energy in it, then it is difficult to regret the choices you make. You become proud of the life you have chosen to live.
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