Justin Ricklefs


The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

“The disciplined pursuit of less.”

Greg McKeown dropped that nugget (among many others) on Tim Ferriss‘ podcast episode 616.

As an Enneagram 7, if left unchecked and unaware, I’m a more addict.

Nothing is ever quite enough.

More of whatever it is I’m pursuing is surely going to satisfy.

Or so I think.

More food.

More money.

More projects.

More alcohol.

More stuff.

More busyness.

More complexity.

More fun.

More opportunities.

If I just have more _____, then it’ll be (good, better, ok, awesome, _____).

It’s not that more is bad, or that the things on the list we want more of are bad either.

Though, I’ve gone down my fair share of more unhelpful paths too.

But experience has dead-ended me in the more trap enough times to know that more is not the answer.

“If you could be truly excellent at just one thing, what would it be?”

McKeown continued his provocative push-back on the assumption that adding to is always the right answer.

Instead of the relentless focus on addition, he argues the disciplined pursuit of subtraction is actually the way…

To greater impact.

To greater focus.

To greater success.

To greater fulfillment.

To a clearer purpose.

– What am I spending time on consistently that someone else is better at and should be doing instead of me?

– Where am I diluted in focus?

– What have I said no to lately?

– Is this addition something that will bring me closer to my core purpose?

– What is one thing I can remove from my calendar (or closet, phone, refrigerator, etc. etc.) this week?

A few questions I’m going to ask myself to begin building the less muscles:

Freedom isn’t found in the exhausting pursuit of more.

It’s actually enjoyed in the clarity that comes from constraint.

The more path will keep calling my name, but I’m hopeful over time, to stay on the one less taken.

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