I’ve read the incredible book “Essentialism” by Greg Mckeown 3 times now, and each time, my (digital) copy gets more and more highlighted. It’s a great read, and one with an incredible amount of wisdom, great ideas, and perspective. Reading it has enriched my life immensely. My biggest and most challenging takeaway is the idea of “Hell yes, or no way.”
If you haven’t read it, I recommend you watch any of the excellent videos that outline the basic concepts including hearing it right from Greg’s mouth in a Google talk:
“No more yes, it’s either a ‘Hell, Yeah!” or no.” #Essentialism— Greg McKeown (@GregoryMcKeown) January 15, 2016
Essentialism, for me works great for small, simple decisions such as:
- should I work out?
- should eat that 3rd slice of pizza?
- should I read this book or that book
But it breaks down for me when I try to apply it to big decisions such as:
- should I invest in becoming a better or published writer?
- should I change careers, go back to school or keep doing what I’m doing
- am living my best life, and if not, what’s that even mean?
I think a big part of the problem is that I’ve been unwilling to be completely honest with myself. Saying hell yea to something life-changing has ramifications that go far beyond my own personal impact.
As an example, I’ve written two books (one a YA-Sci Fi thing, the other a memoir), and I’m stuck inside my head. Do I try to improve them with the help of an editor and finish that journey, or do I leave writing as a hobby and a fun creative pursuit? I honestly don’t know.
The truth is, part of me is scared.
Shit. Even as I wrote that sentence I sort of figured out something important. Trite as it is, that saying “do what scares you most” may very well apply here.
Hell yes, or no way. Eh?