‘Essentialism’ by Greg McKeown

I’m usually not much for self-help books (I get most of my ‘help’ from epic poetry), but Greg McKeown’s ‘Essentialism’ is a rare exception. In it, the author quotes John Maxwell: ‘You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.’ This is so very, very true.

I take great pride in having already done several of the things that McKeown suggests. A decade or two ago, when pressured by a particularly petty boss to travel to a workshop (to make our attendance numbers look better) rather than witness my first child being born, I pulled a ‘Bartleby:’ I told him I would prefer not to. War ensued. I won. Two years later, different son, different boss. Same argument, same result. My number one priority is my family.

I have not, however, been a consistent ‘essentialist.’ We need to downsize, but it is so very difficult to say goodbye to my books. They are like old friends to me. That said, some of my happiest moments have been on road trips, just me, my wife and a book or two.