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May 5, 2021

If you’ve ever wished you could sit down and have a quick chat with the genius man who wrote the New York Times best-selling book Essentialism and now Effortless too, then you’re in for a real treat. Today Greg McKeown humors me with a few extra minutes of his time to share answers to YOUR questions submitted on Instagram, and a few random questions of mine too.

If you’ve read the book Essentialism, there’s a good chance it changed your life as it did mine. You probably went through your life and started eliminating everything that was not essential, and found freedom and joy in living your new life as an essentialist! 

But what happens when everything left is actually still really important? What now? This is the question Greg McKeown asked himself after writing, speaking on, and teaching Essentialism for several years which led him to write his newest book, Effortless. 

If you’re wondering how to get yourself out of a rut, how to move onto the next most important thing when it feels like everything is the most important thing, or how to not drown in all of the responsibilities life demands of you, Effortless is going to provide breakthrough clarity for you. 

I’ve read this book and devoured its contents, and I am so very excited to share with you today my interview with my friend and mentor Greg McKeown on Effortless, a new way to live once you start asking yourself, “what if this could be easy?”

In this episode, you will hear:

  • Essentialism is related to the big rocks theory where you put in the big rocks in a container first before putting in the small rocks and the sand so that they would all fit. But if you put in the sand and the small rocks first, before the big rocks, then nothing fits. 
  • The big rocks theory is a metaphor of putting your most important relationships first and the projects you feel most pulled towards doing. 
  • But what if you have too many big rocks in your life? You can either give up on something essential, or look for an alternative, easier path. Not because you're lazy, but it's a matter of necessity to find a different way to do things. 
  • The book, Effortless, is for high performers who feel on the edge of exhaustion.
  • The 3 principles in living an effortless life: being in effortless state, creating effortless action, and effortless results
  • One way of being effortless is by taking something you already enjoy doing, and linking it with something essential to you (ex. dinner with family). Make things easier so you have much more energy to just be together and not have that extra exhaustion on you. 
  • When you deal with something important, the challenge is simply asking – what's the effortless way to do this? 
  • Everybody is suffering in some way almost all the time. That's why the principles, questions, and practices in Effortless are so essential. There's no situation so hard that a certain way of thinking and operating won't make them harder.
  • Reading the book Effortless allows for emotional unlocking, mental unlocking, and mental paradigm shifts. It doesn’t mean you're not going to put in any effort anymore, but you're doing a whole different way of utilizing that precious effort.
  • We often have a grudge to fulfill an emotional need that is not currently being met. But grudges don't deliver a satisfying return on our investment. 
  • What percentage of your emotional energy and mental energy do you feel has been absorbed by your grudges and your anger? Think of the productivity loss and the opportunity cost. 
  • Forgiveness is the ultimate productivity hack. Removing grudges will have a tremendous rebate. 
  • Keeping the commandments is a shortcut to happiness and so many things – results and fulfilling your mission in life. Life is full of struggles. But primary among the tests of life is whether we will trust Him. 
  • We need to unlearn all the ways we overthink, over exert, over complicate, overburden, over judge, over criticize – all of that too much. 

Supporting Resources:

“Effortless: Make it Easier to Do What Matters Most” by Greg McKeown

Greg McKeown’s website

Greg McKeown’s Podcast “What’s Essential”

“Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown

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Episode Credits

Produced by Emerald City Productions