Living By Design, Not By Default
Extraordinary volumes of information and projects bombard us every day. We’ve lost the ability to choose where we spend our time and we’re forced to work on other people’s agendas.
There are to-do lists, emails, text messages, calls, work responsibilities, household projects, social media, and many other things. They pull our attention in so many directions that we have difficulty focusing on anything and don’t spend time on the important things in our lives.
Our society encourages us to want MORE of everything . . . more money, bigger houses, larger televisions, more expensive cars, and more stuff. This adds more stress and forces us to work harder to get the things we want.
Our Highest Point of Contribution
Does any of this describe you?
- Were you distracted or stressed by something and reacted poorly to a family member?
- Do you have difficulty completing projects because you’re overwhelmed by all of your commitments?
- Is your health suffering because you don’t have time to exercise or get enough sleep?
You’re not alone if you answered “yes.” Articles in Forbes, US News & World Report, and other media outlets confirm the trend.
The problem is that all of the busyness of daily life prevents us from finding our “highest point of contribution” in our families, in our jobs, and in society.
The solution is to prioritize our lives, to rediscover our ability to choose and to eliminate the unimportant things that steal our time or attention.
My Story – Applying Essentialism
I’m a dad, husband, writer, physical therapist, entrepreneur, and aspiring essentialist.
In October 2013, my mother lost her eight-year battle with breast cancer. I owned a physical therapy practice at the time and worked a lot of hours each week – including a couple of hours each night at home.
I was under a lot of stress, wasn’t sleeping enough, and had trouble finding time for exercise. Although I always made time for my family, I sometimes felt distracted and had difficulty being present in the moment. At times, I felt like I was spinning my wheels and couldn’t get anything done.
My mother’s passing reminded me that life is short and that the future isn’t guaranteed. We shouldn’t always be looking ahead to the next thing on our schedule. I also thought about what type of legacy I wanted to create with my life.
I realized that I needed to make some changes, but I didn’t know where to start until I found the book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. It introduced ideas that resonated with me and set me on a path to learn more about this new way of thinking.
Since starting on this path, I’ve found many great mentors and resources. I’ve already made some significant life changes including closing my practice and rediscovering my love of writing.
Now, my focus is to simplify, to live intentionally, to help others, and to set an example of a better way to live for my kids. I want to teach them new definitions of success and happiness. I want to show them how to have a positive impact on the world.
I want to live by design, not by default.
Essentialist Dad is a way to share my journey and the resources I find along the way. I’m documenting my experiments and my experiences. I hope that it adds value to your life and helps you on your own journey.