Less, But Better: 15 Highlights and Favourite Quotes

“Less, but better” perfectly summarises the Essentialist way of life portrayed in the book Essentialism: The Discipline Pursuit of Less by Greg McKweon. However, it is packed with so much more, and  this post is a collection of my top 15 quotes and sayings in this book.

  1. “Remind yourself that everyone is selling something. This doesn’t mean you have to be cynical about people. I don’t mean to imply people shouldn’t be trusted. I am simply saying everyone is selling something—an idea, a viewpoint, an opinion—in exchange for your time. Simply being aware of what is being sold allows us to be more deliberate in deciding whether we want to buy it.”
  2. Instead, we can conduct an advanced search and ask three questions: What do I feel deeply inspired by? and “What am I particularly talented at?” and “What meets a significant need in the world?”
  3. “Apply the principle of zero-based budgeting” to your life and time. Don’t budget based on existing commitments- start from scratch.
  4. There are always trade-offs in cultivating the essential. In your closet, instead of asking yourself if you should get rid of something, ask “If I didn’t already own this, how much would I spend to buy it?
  5. “The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” -Lin Yutang
  6. “When we don’t purposefully and deliberately choose where to focus our energies and time, other people—our bosses, our colleagues, our clients, and even our families—will choose for us, and before long we’ll have lost sight of everything that is meaningful and important.”
  7. “To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, subtract things every day.”- Lao-Tzu
  8. The best asset we have for making a contribution to the world is ourselves. If we under-invest in ourselves, and by that I mean our minds, our bodies, and our spirits, we damage the very tool we need to make our highest contribution.”
  9. “Done is better than perfect.”
  10. “There should be no shame in admitting to a mistake, after all, we really are only admitting that we are wiser than we once were.”
  11. Without great solitude, no serious work is possible – Pablo Picasso
  12. “If you have correctly identified what really matters, if you invest your time and energy in it, then it is difficult to regret the choices you make. You become proud of the life you have chosen to live.”
  13. Interesting bit about a nurse who recorded the thoughts of those in the last 12 weeks of their lives. At the top of the list: “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
  14. Is it at all likely you will wake up one day and say, ‘I wish I’d been less true to myself and done all the nonessential things others expected of me’?
  15. “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” I challenge you to pause more to ask yourself that question.

If you have read this book, tell me about your favourite quote in the comment section. If you haven’t gotten a chance to read the book, I hope that my collection here gives you a reason to pause and reevaluate what’s really important in your life, and make time to invest in them.


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