Essentialism: Less, But Better with Greg McKeown Part 1 Episode #148

Aaron McHugh


My interview with Greg McKeown, author of the New York Times Bestseller, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, produced poignant questions that warrant an accompanying question guide. I believe lasting transformation can occur when we internalize these issues and principles. 

Greg delivered so much succinct and dense insights during our interview that I chose to break the conversation into two parts. [Download the Transformation Q&A guide from my interview here.] I hope that you will earnestly consider the implications of these questions in your work, life and, relationships.

Direct download of this interview with Greg McKeown here.

Greg McKeown, author and speaker, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

What is Essentialism?

“Essentialism is not one more thing-It’s about a whole new way of doing everything. Doing less, but better, in every area of our lives.”

Our Challenge

“We forget that we don’t have to do
what we’ve done in the past.”

The benefits of Essentialism

“If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.”

New York Times Bestseller, Greg McKeown’s Essentialism

Questions and considerations from my interview with Greg McKeown

Download the full guide here.

  1. Where do you feel stretched too thin? Specifically?
  2. Do you feel busy, but not efficient and productive?
  3. Is your schedule always being hijacked by other people?
    1. Last minute assignments
    2. Changing priorities
    3. Emergency projects
    4. Unscheduled travel “I need you in Boston tomorrow”
  4. When do you say YES due to social pressure?
    1. To people
    2. To projects at work
    3. Social engagements
    4. Obligations you’ve done for years
  5. How has success increased your choices and thus diluted your contribution? (Airbnb story)
  6. If you chose one-highest priority for 90 days, what would it be?
  7. Where in your life have you bought into the advertised promise of “If you can do it all-you-can have it all.”
  8. Essentialists explore more options but commit to less-Resulting in more breakthroughs. (Tesla story) Where are you exploring?
  9. You don’t have to do what you are doing. But are you living in the fullness of this reality? Where in your life are you doing what you’ve always done, feel obligated to do, but it isn’t what you ultimately want?
  10. What keeps you busy-occupies your time-but distracts you from actually accomplishing your goals?
  11. Where have you fallen into the undisciplined pursuit of more?
  12. Where are you compromising your priorities to accommodate a non-essentialist in your life?
  13. The word “discipline” for some can feel like a diet that never ends or a race without a finish line. Starting today, what is one thing you can choose to engage differently
    1. Begin a five minute morning routine
    2. Write down one item of gratitude
    3. Drive a different route home
  14. First principle thinking: What do we know for sure and then we design from there. What change do you seek that can be addressed first by defining what is known facts are certain?
  15. How are you choices and commitments outpacing your available resources?

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