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  • Matthew Kelly

The Difference Between an Essentialist and a Non-Essentialist


Are you an essentialist? Maybe you are, maybe you’re not, and maybe you’re not sure. So, let’s take a look at the difference between and essentialist and a non-essentialist.



The non-essentialist rushes around trying to be all things to all people. The essentialist tries to be a great friend to a few people. The non-essentialist engages in the undisciplined pursuit of more. The essentialist engages in the disciplined pursuit of less. The non-essentialist is never satisfied. The essentialist has taken the time to explore what will deliver contentment.


The non-essentialist thinks, “I have to.” The essentialist thinks, “I choose to.”


The non-essentialist thinks, “It’s all important.” The essentialist thinks, “Only a few things really matter.”


The non-essentialist is constantly reacting to what’s urgent. The essentialist focuses on what’s important.


The non-essentialist says yes without really think about it. The essentialist says no to everything except what is essential.


The non-essentialist takes on too much and does nothing well. The essentialist does less and delivers excellence.


The non-essentialist’s life feels out of control. The essentialist’s life feels measured and manageable.


The non-essentialist feels constantly overwhelmed and exhausted. The essentialist has learned to enjoy the journey.


Matthew Kelly


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