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    The essential

    Who I am
    Louise Hay

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    4 practical ways to focus on the essential, leaving out the superfluous.

    "Simplicity is the need to always distinguish, every day, the essential from the superfluous."

    Ermanno Olmi

    Effectiveness is the leitmotif of this blog, the reason why it was born and the lowest common denominator of its 233 articles. But what does it really mean be effective? After long reflections, the answer that convinced me most is the following: the ability to concentrate on the essential.

    Easier said that done.

    What makes it damn hard to focus on the really important things is our chronic inability to leave behind what is not important:

    • We know perfectly well that we should study for our next exam, yet we wander between facebook and our favorite sites.
    • We have defined our goals down to the last detail, yet we continually find ourselves procrastinating.
    • We constantly think about our future goals, but we are not willing to change even a little habit.

    Here then 4 practical tips to learn to leave behind what is superfluous, for focus on the essential:

    1. You can't do everything you want. No matter how hard you try, you will never have enough time and willpower to do everything you want. Our life is made up of limits: the sooner you learn to consider your friends' limits, the faster you will reach your ideal of success. Only by becoming aware that there is no room for everything in our life do we begin to focus on what is essential.
    2. Focus is indispensable in moments of failure. If focus is important to achieve success, it becomes essential to get us out of a period of failure. When everything seems to go wrong, our resources in terms of motivation, self-esteem, money, etc. they are generally at their historical lows; in these situations, knowing how to concentrate the few resources at our disposal on what is essential is the only turning point.
    3. What you give up is worth much less than what you can get. Focusing on the essentials, on the actions and objectives that really matter, allows you to achieve results that far exceed the sacrifices that are required of you. We all manage to perceive this truth, but when faced with the first difficulties we quickly forget it. But the results that matter, the truly important goals, are not achieved in the blink of an eye: like good wine, they need time and care to mature.
    4. You will never miss anything really important. Sometimes, what holds us back from giving up something is the fear that it may be important and that we shouldn't do without it. In reality, only when we give it up do we realize how superfluous it was. Also, if we are letting go of something really important, one way or another this something (or someone) always comes back to show up in front of our door. If it wasn't important, we'll soon forget it.

    And you? What could you give up? What is superfluous in your life that is slowing your race towards your most ambitious goals?

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