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Recommendations from Pocket Users

Jacob Rogelberg

Shared December 28, 2016

Tom Stafford describes a cure for this that we can apply to career clarity: Instead of asking, “How much do I value this item?” we should ask “If I did not own this item, how much would I pay to obtain it?” And the same goes for career opportunities. We shouldn’t ask, “How much do I value this opportunity?” but “If I did not have this opportunity, how much would I be willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it?”

Jorge Pinto

Shared May 2, 2018

"Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.
Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.
Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place."

Lane Rettig

Shared April 1, 2017

Few appear to have the courage to live this principle, which may be why it differentiates successful people and organizations from the very successful ones.

Matouš Vinš

Shared September 24, 2017

Big topic for me during the last few months

Abhilash Pattnaik

Shared January 24, 2017

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials. Not just once a year as part of a planning meeting, but constantly reducing, focusing and simplifying. Not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, but being willing to cut out really terrific opportunities as well. Few appear to have the courage to live this principle, which may be why it differentiates successful people and organizations from the very successful ones

Nick Chapman

Shared January 12, 2018

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials. Not just once a year as part of a planning meeting, but constantly reducing, focusing and simplifying. Not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, but being willing to cut out really terrific opportunities as well. Few appear to have the courage to live this principle, which may be why it differentiates successful people and organizations from the very successful ones.

Laszlo Vad

Shared February 13, 2017

Why don’t successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call “the clarity paradox,” which can be summed up in four predictable phases:

Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.
Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.
Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.

Seamus Cushley

Shared March 2, 2017

An interesting perspective on how success presents many new opportunities, that without disciplined pruning could lead to failure.

Seamus.

Matt Kushin, Ph.D.

Shared January 19, 2017

This is so important and something I am working toward and struggling with.

Sai krishna V K

Shared June 6, 2017

This must be re-read from time to time.

Johann Richard

Shared March 25, 2016

The clarity paradox.

Curiously, and overstating the point in order to make it, success is a catalyst for failure.

Axel Marazzi

Shared June 19, 2017

Por qué muchas veces triunfar te lleva al fracaso.

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials. Not just once a year as part of a planning meeting, but constantly reducing, focusing and simplifying. Not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, but being willing to cut out really terrific opportunities as well. Few appear to have the courage to live this principle, which may be why it differentiates successful people and organizations from the very successful ones.

Parth Bhakta

Shared June 15, 2017

Conducting a life audit. All human systems tilt towards messiness. In the same way that our desks get cluttered without us ever trying to make them cluttered, so our lives get cluttered as well-intended ideas from the past pile up. Most of these efforts didn’t come with an expiration date. Once adopted, they live on in perpetuity. Figure out which ideas from the past are important and pursue those. Throw out the rest.

Parth Bhakta

Shared June 15, 2017

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials. Not just once a year as part of a planning meeting, but constantly reducing, focusing and simplifying. Not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, but being willing to cut out really terrific opportunities as well.

Craig Bailey

Shared December 31, 2016

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials. Not just once a year as part of a planning meeting, but constantly reducing, focusing and simplifying. Not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, but being willing to cut out really terrific opportunities as well. Few appear to have the courage to live this principle, which may be why it differentiates successful people and organizations from the very successful ones.

Florence Shaffer

Shared January 31, 2017

Tom Stafford describes a cure for this that we can apply to career clarity: Instead of asking, “How much do I value this item?” we should ask “If I did not own this item, how much would I pay to obtain it?” And the same goes for career opportunities. We shouldn’t ask, “How much do I value this opportunity?” but “If I did not have this opportunity, how much would I be willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it?”

BJ Johnson

Shared April 13, 2017

"If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less."

Whitney Zimmerman

Shared May 27, 2017

"Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials."

Andy Berkheimer

Shared August 21, 2017

Good advice on the battle against inertia.

We shouldn’t ask, “How much do I value this opportunity?” but “If I did not have this opportunity, how much would I be willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it?”

Whitney Zimmerman

Shared January 8, 2018

Important but not directly mentioned: ego, especially organizational ego.

Accept it, embrace it, and if necessary channel it in seeking to do less.

Great article.

Alexis Sukrieh

Shared August 8, 2017

The clarity paradox : Success is a catalyst for failure.

Marta Datkiewicz

Shared May 29, 2018

Clarity Paradox:

Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.
Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.
Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.

Piet Aukeman

Shared January 7, 2018

By applying tougher criteria we can tap into our brain’s sophisticated search engine. If we search for “a good opportunity,” then we will find scores of pages for us to think about and work through. Instead, we can conduct an advanced search and ask three questions: “What am I deeply passionate about?” and “What taps my talent?” and “What meets a significant need in the world?” Naturally there won’t be as many pages to view, but that is the point of the exercise. We aren’t looking for a plethora of good things to do. We are looking for our absolute highest point of contribution.

Ashleigh Teo

Shared January 5, 2017

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials.

Ashleigh Teo

Shared January 21, 2017

Application to career clarity: Instead of asking, “How much do I value this item?” we should ask “If I did not own this item, how much would I pay to obtain it?” And the same goes for career opportunities. We shouldn’t ask, “How much do I value this opportunity?” but “If I did not have this opportunity, how much would I be willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it?”

Muskan Sukarchakia

Shared December 21, 2017

I'm that person that doesn't want to give their books away.

Cristian Gog

Shared January 4, 2017

Destul de simplu, nu?

richard lagrand

Shared October 20, 2017

Happyness is at the intersection of what you know (talent), what you love (passion), and what people need (market) #startuplife

Nemanja Aleksić

Shared January 16, 2018

reduce, focus, simplify.

Himanshu Gupta

Shared January 9, 2017

All human systems tilt towards messiness. In the same way that our desks get cluttered without us ever trying to make them cluttered, so our lives get cluttered as well-intended ideas from the past pile up. Most of these efforts didn’t come with an expiration date. Once adopted, they live on in perpetuity. Figure out which ideas from the past are important and pursue those. Throw out the rest.

Tom Stafford describes a cure for this that we can apply to career clarity: Instead of asking, “How much do I value this item?” we should ask “If I did not own this item, how much would I pay to obtain it?” And the same goes for career opportunities. We shouldn’t ask, “How much do I value this opportunity?” but “If I did not have this opportunity, how much would I be willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it?”

Cris Vega

Shared December 20, 2016

A veces nos hacemos la pregunta incorrecta para seguir avanzando.

Lisa Liu

Shared December 29, 2016

A good set of actionable tips to do less and achieve more in our careers and go from successful to very successful.

Paul Dariye

Shared March 2, 2017

Ill-defined success is also a catalyst for failure.

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less

Veronika Losova

Shared April 5, 2017

Decluttering your personal and professional life

Mukhtar Ahmed

Shared May 4, 2017

says it all...

Darien Gabriel

Shared May 14, 2017

Wisdom

Navnath Raut

Shared June 12, 2017

Absolutely worth your time.

André Kano

Shared July 9, 2017

Part of the essentials

Yew Leung Lee

Shared September 3, 2017

my life needs this. more focus on an age of constant distraction and unlimited opportunities

Tim Cox

Shared October 9, 2017

Eliminating an old activity before you add a new one. This simple rule ensures that you don’t add an activity that is less valuable than something you are already doing

Tim Cox

Shared October 9, 2017

Instead of asking, “How much do I value this item?” we should ask “If I did not own this item, how much would I pay to obtain it?” And the same goes for career opportunities. We shouldn’t ask, “How much do I value this opportunity?” but “If I did not have this opportunity, how much would I be willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it?”

Dustyn Winder

Shared January 8, 2018

“If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials.”

Jamie Humes

Shared December 27, 2016

Note to Self:
Determine what is essential & then eliminate the rest.
Focus | Reduce | Simplify

Stacie Mahuna

Shared January 17, 2017

"We shouldn’t ask, “How much do I value this opportunity?” but “If I did not have this opportunity, how much would I be willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it?”

Ricardo Fahrig

Shared February 12, 2017

"success is a catalyst for failure."

Lanakin Dogwalker

Shared February 13, 2017

Good plan for clear movement forward.

Karen

Shared May 30, 2018

We shouldn’t ask, “How much do I value this opportunity?” but “If I did not have this opportunity, how much would I be willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it?”

Karen

Shared May 30, 2018

Not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, but being willing to cut out really terrific opportunities as well. Few appear to have the courage to live this principle

Brian Fang

Shared July 7, 2017

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less.

Nidae Z.

Shared March 11, 2018

Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials.

Clive Richards

Shared January 17, 2017

Success can be a catalyst for failure!

Rayon Rashid

Shared March 21, 2017

When You Realise Where You Belong

Gergely Gurmai

Shared June 14, 2017

Great post!

Gustavo Lemos

Shared June 29, 2017

This is the meaning of success

Mark Michael

Shared September 16, 2017

"If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the 'undisciplined pursuit of more,' then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less."

Josh Coe

Shared September 30, 2017

Pursuing as little as possible from now on.

Ashima Gupta

Shared January 17, 2018

"If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials. Not just once a year as part of a planning meeting, but constantly reducing, focusing and simplifying. Not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, but being willing to cut out really terrific opportunities as well. Few appear to have the courage to live this principle, which may be why it differentiates successful people and organizations from the very successful ones."

Very thoughtful

Lutfi Zakhour

Shared January 24, 2018

The difficulty in confidently saying no...

Maximilian Schmid

Shared February 15, 2018

Great career recommendation. Great Visualization (Market/Talent/Passion)...

Birdie Prametthawanich

Shared June 8, 2018

Time to unclutter your mind, your life and your house.

Daniel Ebeling

Shared June 22, 2017

Success breeds failure. Some kind of paradox.

Fang Wan

Shared March 8, 2016

First, use more extreme criteria. Think of what happens to our closets when we use the broad criteria: “Is there a chance that I will wear this someday in the future?” The closet becomes cluttered with clothes we rarely wear. If we ask, “Do I absolutely love this?” then we will be able to eliminate the clutter and have space for something better. We can do the same with our career choices.

Fang Wan

Shared March 8, 2016

The Endowment effect -- you tend to overvalue what you own

If I did not own this item, how much would I pay to obtain it?” And the same goes for career opportunities. We shouldn’t ask, “How much do I value this opportunity?” but “If I did not have this opportunity, how much would I be willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it?”

Ryan Pramberg

Shared January 7, 2017

5 minute read to get rid of clutter in life

Instead of asking, “How much do I value this item?” we should ask “If I did not own this item, how much would I pay to obtain it?” And the same goes for career opportunities. We shouldn’t ask, “How much do I value this opportunity?” but “If I did not have this opportunity, how much would I be willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it?”

evan james

Shared January 10, 2017

success is a catalyst for failure.

Eric O. LEBIGOT

Shared January 22, 2017

we should ask “If I did not own this item, how much would I pay to obtain it?”

Maiiimaa nya

Shared February 10, 2017

"“What am I deeply passionate about?” and “What taps my talent?” and “What meets a significant need in the world?” Naturally there won’t be as many pages to view, but that is the point of the exercise. We aren’t looking for a plethora of good things to do. We are looking for our absolute highest point of contribution."

Bhanu Shrestha

Shared March 10, 2017

"success is a catalyst for failure."

Magnus Reuter

Shared March 25, 2017

Lifechanging truths

alexander v. morea

Shared March 31, 2017

de-naturalising the word: success.

M J

Shared April 14, 2017

@lar003 think you'll enjoy and apply this

Sunil Paul

Shared May 31, 2017

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less.

Kristia van Heerden

Shared June 9, 2017

Am important hack for decluttering: Instead of asking, “How much do I value this item?” we should ask “If I did not own this item, how much would I pay to obtain it?”

Instead of asking, “How much do I value this item?” we should ask “If I did not own this item, how much would I pay to obtain it?”

DEEPAK SEHRAWAT

Shared June 12, 2017

Whao.

Tom Stafford describes a cure for this that we can apply to career clarity: Instead of asking, “How much do I value this item?” we should ask “If I did not own this item, how much would I pay to obtain it?” And the same goes for career opportunities. We shouldn’t ask, “How much do I value this opportunity?” but “If I did not have this opportunity, how much would I be willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it?”

vaibhav padmakar munjole

Shared June 22, 2017

a!xuu765y*yyu\^\86¢~[67867$*%#4¢¢^¢\\^\^¢\^

Nata Minnie

Shared July 8, 2017

purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials.

La Lumièreeee

Shared October 9, 2017

We aren’t looking for a plethora of good things to do. We are looking for our absolute highest point of contribution.

La Lumièreeee

Shared October 9, 2017

Instead of asking, “How much do I value this item?” we should ask “If I did not own this item, how much would I pay to obtain it?”

La Lumièreeee

Shared October 9, 2017

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials.

mohammed ahmed

Shared October 17, 2017

This formula is missing the element of conscience.

Jason Chua

Shared November 3, 2017

Less is more.

Junaidy Jumat

Shared December 2, 2017

The three things to consider for us to find our purpose

Ashley Fuller

Shared December 23, 2017

Minimalism for life goals. I like it. ^_^

Jesse Kriege

Shared January 25, 2018

We are looking for our absolute highest point of contribution.

Stephen Norris

Shared March 2, 2018

Greg Mckeown’s ‘clarity paradox’ goes some way to explain why the rise to the top can be an organisation or individuals own undoing! Can you see yourself or your organisations path to self destruction? Read this article on how to spot the signs!

Vince Frese

Shared April 22, 2018



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WHAT TO READ NEXT

How to Make Yourself Work When You Just Don’t Want To

MANAGING YOURSELF
The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
Greg McKeown
AUGUST 08, 2012
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Why don’t successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call “the clarity paradox,” which can be summed up in four predictable phases:

Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.
Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.
Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.

Curiously, and overstating the point in order to make it, success is a catalyst for failure.

We can see this in companies that were once darlings of Wall Street, but later collapsed. In his book How the Mighty Fall, Jim Collins explored this phenomenon and found that one of the key reasons for these failures was that companies fell into “the undisciplined pursuit of more.” It is true for companies and it is true for careers.

Here’s a more personal example: For years, Enric Sala was a professor at the prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. But he couldn’t kick the feeling that the career path he was on was just a close counterfeit for the path he should really be on. So, he left academia and went to work for National Geographic. With that success came new and intriguing opportunities in Washington D.C. that again left him feeling he was close to the right career path, but not quite there yet. His success had distracted him. After a couple of years, he changed gears again in order to be what he really wanted: an explorer-in-residence with National Geographic, spending a significant portion of his time diving in the most remote locations, using his strengths in science and communications to influence policy on a global scale. (Watch Enric Sala speak about his important work at TED). The price of his dream job was saying no to the many good, parallel paths he encountered.

What can we do to avoid the clarity paradox and continue our upward momentum? Here are three suggestions:

First, use more extreme criteria. Think of what happens to our closets when we use the broad criteria: “Is there a chance that I will wear this someday in the future?” The closet becomes cluttered with clothes we rarely wear. If we ask, “Do I absolutely love this?” then we will be able to eliminate the clutter and have space for something better. We can do the same with our career choices.

By applying tougher criteria we can tap into our brain’s sophisticated search engine. If we search for “a good opportunity,” then we will find scores of pages for us to think about and work through. Instead, we can conduct an advanced search and ask three questions: “What am I deeply passionate about?” and “What taps my talent?” and “What meets a significant need in the world?” Naturally there won’t be as many pages to view, but that is the point of the exercise. We aren’t looking for a plethora of good things to do. We are looking for our absolute highest point of contribution.



Enric is one of those relatively rare examples of someone who is doing work that he loves, that taps his talent, and that serves an important need in the world. His main objective is to help create the equivalent of National Parks to protect the last pristine places in the ocean — a significant contribution.

Second, ask “What is essential?” and eliminate the rest. Everything changes when we give ourselves permission to eliminate the nonessentials. At once, we have the key to unlock the next level of our lives. Get started by:

Conducting a life audit. All human systems tilt towards messiness. In the same way that our desks get cluttered without us ever trying to make them cluttered, so our lives get cluttered as well-intended ideas from the past pile up. Most of these efforts didn’t come with an expiration date. Once adopted, they live on in perpetuity. Figure out which ideas from the past are important and pursue those. Throw out the rest.
Eliminating an old activity before you add a new one. This simple rule ensures that you don’t add an activity that is less valuable than something you are already doing.
Third, beware of the endowment effect. Also known as the divestiture aversion, the endowment effect refers to our tendency to value an item more once we own it. One particularly interesting study was conducted by Kahneman, Knetsch and Thaler (published here) where consumption objects (e.g. coffee mugs) were randomly given to half the subjects in an experiment, while the other half were given pens of equal value. According to traditional economic theory (the Coase Theorem), about half of the people with mugs and half of the people with pens will trade. But they found that significantly fewer than this actually traded. The mere fact of ownership made them less willing to part with their own objects. As a simple illustration in your own life, think of how a book on your shelf that you haven’t used in years seems to increase in value the moment you think about giving it away.

Tom Stafford describes a cure for this that we can apply to career clarity: Instead of asking, “How much do I value this item?” we should ask “If I did not own this item, how much would I pay to obtain it?” And the same goes for career opportunities. We shouldn’t ask, “How much do I value this opportunity?” but “If I did not have this opportunity, how much would I be willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it?”

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials. Not just once a year as part of a planning meeting, but constantly reducing, focusing and simplifying. Not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, but being willing to cut out really terrific opportunities as well. Few appear to have the courage to live this principle, which may be why it differentiates successful people and organizations from the very successful ones.

Greg McKeown is the author of the New York Times bestseller Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less and speaks 50 times a year at major companies and conferences. He recently launched The Essential Forum where people come together every 90 days to design their highest contribution. Greg did his graduate work at Stanford. Connect @GregoryMcKeown.
This article is about MANAGING YOURSELF

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Comments

POST
2 COMMENTS
Roland Roland Leblanc a year ago

I like this article; I have started to move my=self into voluntary simplicity lately; and this article gives me a clue on how I can get to improve even further what I have started. It also helps me to continue doing a good clean=up in my life. Nice article; so useful to see ahead with clarity where we are heading when we keep the unnecessary stuff... Being is far more rewarding that having or doing I think; what do you think?
Roland ♀

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Prince Ajay

Shared June 19, 2018

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less

Jolo Quiason

Shared 6 days ago

Less is more.

Having worked for a Japanese fast fashion brand sure has benefits such as getting first dibs on new items and gaining first-access to purchase markdown items. It became a never-ending cycle of finding the perfect outfit to match my lifestyle. I was never satisfied with one purchase. Shopping always gave me that dopamine shot - a feeling that resembles joy but temporary.

A friend introduced me to "Minimalism", a social trend designed to curb the appetite for consuming items and to focus more on things that do matter - our relationships with people and the environment. Minimalism was a response to the Japan earthquake back in 2011. By reducing the things one owns, it allowed the Japanese people to save/spend more while lowering the risk of injury caused by falling items and furniture. I am not a Minimalist, but I got a few takeaways from living simply:

1. More money to invest/save
2. Less clutter to tidy
3. Saves a lot of space
4. Less clothes for laundry day!
5. More time to do the things you want
6. BETTER SLEEP




X

Shared 3 days ago

Mht

Challa F.

Shared December 14, 2017

"...purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the non-essentials."
Harder than it sounds but this article sheds some light on real decision making things.

João Ascensão

Shared January 17, 2018

All human systems tilt towards messiness.

Andrew Gobran

Shared March 29, 2018

If

Andrew Gobran

Shared March 29, 2018

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials.

Caro Kn

Shared December 18, 2016

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials.

Lakshmi Manjunath

Shared December 20, 2016

Disciplined Pursuit of Less

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less.

Marissa Karpack

Shared January 7, 2017

We aren’t looking for a plethora of good things to do. We are looking for our absolute highest point of contribution.

Seth Shaffer

Shared January 7, 2017

this was an enjoyable read and added understanding and depth to the best ways I can make a decision.

Jamie Samonte

Shared January 9, 2017

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials. Not just once a year as part of a planning meeting, but constantly reducing, focusing and simplifying. Not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, but being willing to cut out really terrific opportunities as well. Few appear to have the courage to live this principle, which may be why it differentiates successful people and organizations from the very successful ones.

Senya Lopukhin

Shared January 25, 2017

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials. Not just once a year as part of a planning meeting, but constantly reducing, focusing and simplifying. Not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, but being willing to cut out really terrific opportunities as well.

Yenyi Fu

Shared January 27, 2017

main point of article

Curiously, and overstating the point in order to make it, success is a catalyst for failure.

Jenna Christopherson

Shared January 21, 2017

You can apply this to nearly every part of your life. I've seen people destroy great things in their life in order to pursue more.

They gave up a great relationship to pursue many experiences with women.

They gave up having a few beautiful objects in great shape in order to hold onto everything they could.

I've known people who lost their soul-mate in the pursuit of something better.

The two things all these people had was the pursuit of more and the destruction of what they had.

Nolan Cunningham

Shared February 1, 2017

Declutter and prioritize to pare down your career options

Lynn Buckway

Shared February 9, 2017

Yesssss!

A. Lim

Shared February 9, 2017

Success is a catalyst of failure.

Akmal Mugiwara

Shared February 23, 2017

Great piece. A truth that we always avoid to assent.

Faheemah

Shared March 12, 2017

Less is more. Focus and stay focused! I love the bit about the Endowment Theory... how we suddenly value things more when we think of giving them away but before that, they actually mean nothing to us. Really puts the richness of life into perspective... count what counts!

John Morris

Shared March 17, 2017

This could either be a powerful read for my students in the career-focused class, BA 353, or a life lesson for me...

Boaz Galil

Shared April 1, 2017

Super interesting

vishakha khanolkar

Shared April 19, 2017

success leads to failure. read WHOLE to know why.........🎖

Miguel Olivo

Shared May 2, 2017

Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.

Magic Real

Shared May 27, 2017

It's kind le interesting

Kelly M

Shared June 6, 2017

Jim Collins explored this phenomenon and found that one of the key reasons for these failures was that companies fell into “the undisciplined pursuit of more.” It is true for companies and it is true for careers.

Kelly M

Shared June 6, 2017

The price of his dream job was saying no to the many good, parallel paths he encountered.

Kelly M

Shared June 6, 2017

ask three questions: “What am I deeply passionate about?” and “What taps my talent?” and “What meets a significant need in the world?” Naturally there won’t be as many pages to view, but that is the point of the exercise. We aren’t looking for a plethora of good things to do. We are looking for our absolute highest point of contribution.

Kelly M

Shared June 6, 2017

Conducting a life audit. All human systems tilt towards messiness. In the same way that our desks get cluttered without us ever trying to make them cluttered, so our lives get cluttered as well-intended ideas from the past pile up. Most of these efforts didn’t come with an expiration date. Once adopted, they live on in perpetuity. Figure out which ideas from the past are important and pursue those. Throw out the rest.
Eliminating an old activity before you add a new one. This simple rule ensures that you don’t add an activity that is less valuable than something you are already doing.

Kelly M

Shared June 6, 2017

beware of the endowment effect.

think of how a book on your shelf that you haven’t used in years seems to increase in value the moment you think about giving it away.

Kelly M

Shared June 6, 2017

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials. Not just once a year as part of a planning meeting, but constantly reducing, focusing and simplifying. Not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, but being willing to cut out really terrific opportunities as well. Few appear to have the courage to live this principle, which may be why it differentiates successful people and organizations from the very successful ones.

John Valhalla

Shared June 8, 2017

Now days more than ever

Ricky Jason

Shared June 17, 2017

Great read! It provided a different pursuit perspective.

Nikhil Dokania

Shared June 19, 2017

What separates the successful people from the very successful?

Ina Nocheseda

Shared August 5, 2017

success.

Paul Eden

Shared August 12, 2017

This

Duncan Sweeney

Shared August 26, 2017

Interesting short read, give it a go.

Nafissah Chattun

Shared October 1, 2017

Great article!

Michael Stebner

Shared October 6, 2017

Something worth considering...

Colin Fussner

Shared October 9, 2017

Less = More

barry quinn

Shared October 11, 2017

Excellent advice, especially to succeed in the distracting nature of academia

Ahamdi Okpara

Shared October 17, 2017

Good article!

Mayukha Avasarala

Shared November 1, 2017

A lesson in identifying what’s absolutely necessary

Sitt Guruvanich

Shared November 15, 2017

success is a catalyst for failure.

Marc Luanghy

Shared November 18, 2017

A must read on self reflection and personal development

Rafael Castro

Shared November 23, 2017

Less is more! Interesting reading!

Bongani Sayed

Shared November 28, 2017

this is the key to job suitability

Purvi Jain

Shared December 4, 2017

success is a catalyst for failure.

Marian Gapasin

Shared January 2, 2018

Do I absolutely love this?

Gilbert Madre

Shared January 20, 2018

good one

COLIN Mathew

Shared February 3, 2018

true enough

Rori Desu

Shared January 25, 2018

Interesting food for thought. Can be applied in most aspects of one's life.

Christopher Curtis

Shared February 10, 2018

Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.
Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.
Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.

aaron ⅉohnson

Shared February 13, 2018

I expected this article to be sbout Taoism but it was still quite interesting ☸️

Ahamdi Okpara

Shared February 22, 2018

Good read!

Angel Gruevski

Shared March 6, 2018

Why don’t successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call “the clarity paradox,” which can be summed up in four predictable phases:

Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.
Phase 3: When we have increased

Encarni Romero

Shared March 9, 2018

Primera recomendación

KK SK

Shared March 18, 2018

endowment effect

Tom Stafford describes a cure for this that we can apply to career clarity: Instead of asking, “How much do I value this item?” we should ask “If I did not own this item, how much would I pay to obtain it?” And the same goes for career opportunities. We shouldn’t ask, “How much do I value this opportunity?” but “If I did not have this opportunity, how much would I be willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it?”

Cuong Tran

Shared March 31, 2018

we can conduct an advanced search and ask three questions: “What am I deeply passionate about?” and “What taps my talent?” and “What meets a significant need in the world?”

Cuong Tran

Shared March 31, 2018

Instead, we can conduct an advanced search and ask three questions: “What am I deeply passionate about?” and “What taps my talent?” and “What meets a significant need in the world?”

Cuong Tran

Shared March 31, 2018

Instead, we can conduct an advanced search and ask three questions: “What am I deeply passionate about?” and “What taps my talent?” and “What meets a significant need in the world?”

Mauro

Shared April 22, 2018

Algo interessante para reflexão.

Joseph Tissaw

Shared April 27, 2018


Alexander Robershotte

Shared May 3, 2018

“Do I absolutely love this?” then we will be able to eliminate the clutter and have space for something better.

Alexander Robershotte

Shared May 3, 2018

Ruthless elimination in order to make space for those really exciting things. It is something that can be done on a regular basis



2/3 REMAINING REGISTER | SUBSCRIBE


MANAGING YOURSELF
The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
Greg McKeown
AUGUST 08, 2012
SAVE SHARE
Why don’t successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call “the clarity paradox,” which can be summed up in four predictable phases:

Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.
Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.
Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.

Curiously, and overstating the point in order to make it, success is a catalyst for failure.

We can see this in companies that were once darlings of Wall Street, but later collapsed. In his book How the Mighty Fall, Jim Collins explored this phenomenon and found that one of the key reasons for these failures was that companies fell into “the undisciplined pursuit of more.” It is true for companies and it is true for careers.

Here’s a more personal example: For years, Enric Sala was a professor at the prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. But he couldn’t kick the feeling that the career path he was on was just a close counterfeit for the path he should really be on. So, he left academia and went to work for National Geographic. With that success came new and intriguing opportunities in Washington D.C. that again left him feeling he was close to the right career path, but not quite there yet. His success had distracted him. After a couple of years, he changed gears again in order to be what he really wanted: an explorer-in-residence with National Geographic, spending a significant portion of his time diving in the most remote locations, using his strengths in science and communications to influence policy on a global scale. (Watch Enric Sala speak about his important work at TED). The price of his dream job was saying no to the many good, parallel paths he encountered.

What can we do to avoid the clarity paradox and continue our upward momentum? Here are three suggestions:

First, use more extreme criteria. Think of what happens to our closets when we use the broad criteria: “Is there a chance that I will wear this someday in the future?” The closet becomes cluttered with clothes we rarely wear. If we ask, “Do I absolutely love this?” then we will be able to eliminate the clutter and have space for something better. We can do the same with our career choices.

By applying tougher criteria we can tap into our brain’s sophisticated search engine. If we search for “a good opportunity,” then we will find scores of pages for us to think about and work through. Instead, we can conduct an advanced search and ask three questions: “What am I deeply passionate about?” and “What taps my talent?” and “What meets a significant need in the world?” Naturally there won’t be as many pages to view, but that is the point of the exercise. We aren’t looking for a plethora of good things to do. We are looking for our absolute highest point of contribution.



Enric is one of those relatively rare examples of someone who is doing work that he loves, that taps his talent, and that serves an important need in the world. His main objective is to help create the equivalent of National Parks to protect the last pristine places in the ocean — a significant contribution.

Second, ask “What is essential?” and eliminate the rest. Everything changes when we give ourselves permission to eliminate the nonessentials. At once, we have the key to unlock the next level of our lives. Get started by:

Conducting a life audit. All human systems tilt towards messiness. In the same way that our desks get cluttered without us ever trying to make them cluttered, so our lives get cluttered as well-intended ideas from the past pile up. Most of these efforts didn’t come with an expiration date. Once adopted, they live on in perpetuity. Figure out which ideas from the past are important and pursue those. Throw out the rest.
Eliminating an old activity before you add a new one. This simple rule ensures that you don’t add an activity that is less valuable than something you are already doing.
Third, beware of the endowment effect. Also known as the divestiture aversion, the endowment effect refers to our tendency to value an item more once we own it. One particularly interesting study was conducted by Kahneman, Knetsch and Thaler (published here) where consumption objects (e.g. coffee mugs) were randomly given to half the subjects in an experiment, while the other half were given pens of equal value. According to traditional economic theory (the Coase Theorem), about half of the people with mugs and half of the people with pens will trade. But they found that significantly fewer than this actually traded. The mere fact of ownership made them less willing to part with their own objects. As a simple illustration in your own life, think of how a book on your shelf that you haven’t used in years seems to increase in value the moment you think about giving it away.

Tom Stafford describes a cure for this that we can apply to career clarity: Instead of asking, “How much do I value this item?” we should ask “If I did not own this item, how much would I pay to obtain it?” And the same goes for career opportunities. We shouldn’t ask, “How much do I value this opportunity?” but “If I did not have this opportunity, how much would I be willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it?”

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials. Not just once a year as part of a planning meeting, but constantly reducing, focusing and simplifying. Not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, but being willing to cut out really terrific opportunities as well. Few appear to have the courage to live this principle, which may be why it differentiates successful people and organizations from the very successful ones.

Greg McKeown is the author of the New York Times bestseller Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less and speaks 50 times a year at major companies and conferences. He recently launched The Essential Forum where people come together every 90 days to design their highest contribution. Greg did his graduate work at Stanford. Connect @GregoryMcKeown.
This article is about MANAGING YOURSELF

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Comments


POST
2 COMMENTS
Roland Roland Leblanc a year ago

I like this article; I have started to move my=self into voluntary simplicity lately; and this article gives me a clue on how I can get to improve even further what I have started. It also helps me to continue doing a good clean=up in my life. Nice article; so useful to see ahead with clarity where we are heading when we keep the unnecessary stuff... Being is far more rewarding that having or doing I think; what do you think?
Roland ♀

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Erick Galassi

Shared May 6, 2018

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials

Reva Sang

Shared May 18, 2018

If we ask, “Do I absolutely love this?” then we will be able to eliminate the clutter and have space for something better. We can do the same with our career choices.

Manuel Rivera

Shared May 18, 2018

Because sometimes “less is more”...

Ryan Daly

Shared May 29, 2018

This article may have explained why the US is in a downward spiral.

Curiously, and overstating the point in order to make it, success is a catalyst for failure.

Soe Wei Yan Phyo

Shared June 3, 2018

This separate successful people from very successful people.
"success is the catalyst for failure"

First, use more extreme criteria. Think of what happens to our closets when we use the broad criteria: “Is there a chance that I will wear this someday in the future?” The closet becomes cluttered with clothes we rarely wear. If we ask, “Do I absolutely love this?” then we will be able to eliminate the clutter and have space for something better. We can do the same with our career choices.

By applying tougher criteria we can tap into our brain’s sophisticated search engine. If we search for “a good opportunity,” then we will find scores of pages for us to think about and work through. Instead, we can conduct an advanced search and ask three questions: “What am I deeply passionate about?” and “What taps my talent?” and “What meets a significant need in the world?” Naturally there won’t be as many pages to view, but that is the point of the exercise. We aren’t looking for a plethora of good things to do. We are looking for our absolute highest point of contribution.

Second, ask “What is essential?” and eliminate the rest. Everything changes when we give ourselves permission to eliminate the nonessentials. At once, we have the key to unlock the next level of our lives. Get started by:

Conducting a life audit. All human systems tilt towards messiness. In the same way that our desks get cluttered without us ever trying to make them cluttered, so our lives get cluttered as well-intended ideas from the past pile up. Most of these efforts didn’t come with an expiration date. Once adopted, they live on in perpetuity. Figure out which ideas from the past are important and pursue those. Throw out the rest.
Eliminating an old activity before you add a new one. This simple rule ensures that you don’t add an activity that is less valuable than something you are already doing.

Third, beware of the endowment effect. Also known as the divestiture aversion, the endowment effect refers to our tendency to value an item more once we own it.
Tom Stafford describes a cure for this that we can apply to career clarity: Instead of asking, “How much do I value this item?” we should ask “If I did not own this item, how much would I pay to obtain it?” And the same goes for career opportunities. We shouldn’t ask, “How much do I value this opportunity?” but “If I did not have this opportunity, how much would I be willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it?”

Ankur Gupta

Shared June 6, 2018

Read it

Thiago Zanon Gomes

Shared June 21, 2018

Less is more

Temeika Fairley

Shared July 3, 2018

As a GenXer th thought of pursuing less is a bit foreign to me, but I’m moving towards purpose. Being more focused is a high priority for me.

Natasha S

Shared 5 days ago

This article is actually also about courage. Excellent.

Craig Bovis

Shared February 20, 2017

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials. Not just once a year as part of a planning meeting, but constantly reducing, focusing and simplifying. Not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, but being willing to cut out really terrific opportunities as well. Few appear to have the courage to live this principle, which may be why it differentiates successful people and organizations from the very successful ones.

Ary Wicaksana

Shared May 14, 2017

Instead, we can conduct an advanced search and ask three questions: “What am I deeply passionate about?” and “What taps my talent?” and “What meets a significant need in the world?”

Ary Wicaksana

Shared May 14, 2017

Tom Stafford describes a cure for this that we can apply to career clarity: Instead of asking, “How much do I value this item?” we should ask “If I did not own this item, how much would I pay to obtain it?” And the same goes for career opportunities. We shouldn’t ask, “How much do I value this opportunity?” but “If I did not have this opportunity, how much would I be willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it?”

Ary Wicaksana

Shared May 14, 2017

Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials. Not just once a year as part of a planning meeting, but constantly reducing, focusing and simplifying. Not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, but being willing to cut out really terrific opportunities as well.

Daniel Blut

Shared June 7, 2017

is success a catalyst for failure?

Anton Perez

Shared August 6, 2017

If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the “undisciplined pursuit of more,” then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less.