The Cycle of The Essentialist

The essentialist is someone who only works on what really matters. They major in a few things instead of minoring in many. They ruthlessly eliminate shallow activities in order to live a deep life.

As I look to add more roles into my life I have been reflecting on what I have done in the past and what may have to get cut in the near future.

Upon reflecting on this I noticed a cycle I tend to follow:

Expand. Contract. Curate.

Expansion: everyone needs to go through seasons of expansion. It gives you an opportunity to test your limits and realize what you are capable of. However, the balanced individual (essentialist) should only have seasons of this. Most of the time should be spent doing less.

Contract: do less, do better. Over the past two years, I was in a period of contraction. With no house to maintain and no kids to look after that left me with plenty of time to focus on work, health, friends, family, and the 5 or-so hobbies I have. I think most folks should live here.

Curate: when more options come your way or you become interested in a new activity be cautious. Like the minimalist who has a quota for the number of items they have, or the interior designer who wants to add a new painting – they need to clear space to add the new thing. To make room for something, and do it well, something has to go.

As I enter a period of curation and expansion I will share my learnings and inevitable failures along the way.

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