Essentialism: Book Review

Essentialism: Book Review

Author: Max Keller of Savior Realty

Purchase the book here:

In our culture, we are convinced that more is more and more is better.  What happens though, is more working results in less time with family, less time focusing on health and fitness, and those things that should be paramount precedence in our life and business. This book has helped me with my outlook on my work ethic and decisions. 

The Best Contribution

Do you feel busy, but not productive?  Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin?  Do you feel simultaneously overworked and underutilized?  Are you and your time being hijacked by other’s agendas?

The difference between those who are successful and those who are not is how much they are reading.  The core of this book is productivity and learning to do fewer things in order for you to do more.  If you say “yes” to everything that comes along you will not say “yes” to the most important things.  You’ll be busy, but not productive.

Identify what is the best and highest contribution that you have to give towards the things that really matter and then choose to give your time to those areas of your life and business.


The Tradeoff

Many things matter in life, so it’s important to make room for what is essential first and foremost.

Learn to be productive vs just being busy. Learn to identify what is most important and always have the mindset, “Whatever it is you are doing is keeping you from doing something else”.  Therefore, make sure what you are doing is the highest and best contribution to your life and work.  You have the ability to choose.  You can say “no” to something and regret it for a few minutes because you feel you let someone down.  Or, you can say “yes” and regret that decision for years.

If you know what’s important to you, you will make wise decisions and proper choices in life and business.


The Art of Saying “No”

When presented with opportunities that are not in your absolute best interest, learn to say, “To honor my current commitments, I will have to say no for now.”

Identify the fears associated with saying “no”.  Saying “no” often accompanies the fear of loss, fear of a lost opportunity, fear of losing a once in a lifetime opportunity.  These fears can paralyze our decision maker and causes us to say “yes” unnecessarily.

Look at every presented opportunity and decide what is important to you.  You have to know what you want.  This requires thinking, not doing. You cannot identify your goals if you don’t think about them.

“Pass on EVERY good opportunity.”  When you have presented an opportunity for which you are not 100% sure of right away, then don’t do it.

“No” is not a bad word.  Say no to the request, not the person.  You aren’t rejecting the person, you are rejecting the request.  Learn to separate the two.


Habits to Prevent Becoming a Non-Essentialist.

Journal – Become a journalist.  Document the important things; get organized.  Journaling subconsciously makes you aware of the important things in your life, which in turn forces you to focus on thankfulness, your family, and priorities.


Learn the Art of the Pause

Take moments each day to pause and remember if you say “yes”, you are saying “no” to something else.  You can’t have it both ways.  Those who are successful are those who learned to say “no”, and the art of the pause.


Pave Your Own Success

It is easiest to follow someone else’s path than to create your own.  It’s easier to find someone who has been named successful and follow what they did to become successful.  However, this might not make you happy and successful.  You have to find out what will work for you.

Set a realistic number of goals that you can work towards and attain and then daily set out to reach those goals.


Thinking Time

Reflect on how you are going to spend your life.

Thinking time is important. It helps refresh your mind and helps new ideas to form.  Thinking or meditating helps your creativity.  Spend more time reading and thinking.



Bill Clinton has said every major mistake he made was a result of sleep deprivation.  With proper sleep, we get increased awareness and identify trade-offs better.  You think better when you have more sleep.

When you realize how little time you really have to work, spend time with family and take care of your health, you will make the essential decisions necessary in saying “yes” and/or “no” to presented opportunities and will become a master Essentialist.

Purchase the book here:

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