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Turning Habits Into Rituals to Live an Effortless Life with Greg McKeown

Greg McKeown

Greg McKeown is a husband, father, author, public speaker, and leadership and business strategist. He is the author of the books Essentialism and Effortless and the CEO of McKeown Inc. McKeown is a renowned LinkedIn Author for the Harvard Business Review and his writings have appeared in the New York Times, The Huffington Post, Fast Company, Fortune, and Politico. Greg’s main purpose is to help people and teams discover what drives success and what doesn’t. McKeown thrives off of challenging conventional wisdom and focuses on what you really need in order to be successful.Mistake-free living is not something we should be interested in, either for us or our children. Honesty, humility, and leadership are the key elements that allow us to come back from our mistakes and better ourselves so that we can strengthen our relationships. Our children learn from our actions, so if we make mistakes and recover quickly from them, they learn how to do the same.Greg is a huge proponent of gratitude. He talks about following a complaining statement with a statement of gratitude; this can make a vast difference in mindset. Mindset is the key to going from a chore, to a habit, to a ritual. These three things are how we can achieve a state of effortlessness in our lives.

What You’ll Learn: 

[4:14]

Greg recalls his childhood growing up and his experience of becoming a father.

[7:30]

Hire hard, manage easy. This is the approach Greg takes when parenting his children. If you invest hard early on, parenting becomes a lot easier later on.

[8:08]

Greg talks about his experience with parenting his daughter the night before.

[14:18]

Mistake-free living is a very bad idea. Sometimes, what we want is to have no mistakes as a person, and no mistakes for your children. The level of control requ9ireed to do that would be astronomical. You want mistakes to happen and be as cheap as possible.

[17:29]

The health of a relationship is how quickly you can recover from making a mistake and apologizing.

[22:12]

Sometimes, we think that because teenagers are starting to look like adults, that they should act like them too. This is not the case.

[27:00]

Greg talks about giving his children an allowance with little risk so that they could experience disappointment when they didn’t have any money. This way, when they got older, they knew the risks associated with money and would think before they made a big purchase.

[30:00]

Encouraging someone to take risks will help them understand the property of risks when they get older.

[33:00]

Greg talks about the inspiration for his book Effortless.

[35:12]

Greg talks about his daughter’s neurological condition.

[38:04]

It’s not enough to do the right thing; you have to do things the right way as well.

[41:36]

Greg talks about three related levels of the book – state, action, and result. The question is how to get to that Effortless state.

[43:20]

After you complain, you immediately follow it with a statement of gratitude. People will have an instant reaction to this when you practice it in front of them.

[45:36]

Gratitude is a catalytic thing, it’s an upward spiral.

[46:50]

When you focus on what you lack, you lose what you have. When you focus on what you have, you gain what you lack.

[48:40]

There’s a difference between a chore, a habit, and a ritual.

[55:48]

Being in a state of effortlessness changes your experience. The experience actually changes because you’re paying attention to those little things in the moment. You start to see how the extraordinary exists in the mundane.

[57:10]

An exhaustive state is not a state of effortlessness. It’s a state of suffering.

[1:00:13]

Make a list of all the things you want to accomplish for the day and then check them off once you’ve done them.

RELATED EPISODES:

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less with Greg McKeown

Raising Strong Girls—A Dad’s Guide with Dr. Tim Jordan

Positive Fatherhood with Roger Mathews


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Essentialism Greg McKeown

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less with Greg McKeown

Do you ever feel the urge to declutter your life? Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin? Do you sometimes feel overworked and underutilized? Are you frequently busy without getting any closer to your goals?

Most of us in this day and age feel perpetually busy and overwhelmed with little energy and time to spend on the things in life that matter the most to us.

Today we have a very special guest, Greg McKeown, the NY Times bestselling author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. He shares astonishing insights on how family life has changed throughout the centuries, how our behavioral systems impact future generations, and how to design our lives to focus on essentials so we can stay connected with our long-term visions. You’ll want to save this epic episode!

'You’re not going to get everything done. You can get the right things done and feel like you did what really matters.' – @GregoryMcKeown #essentialism #busyness #overwhelm #dreams #goals #family #parenting Click To Tweet

'LIFE – there is less of it left than we think.' – @GregoryMcKeown #dads #men #fathers #time #life #death #inspiration #motivation #discipline Click To Tweet

Greg McKeown

Greg McKeown is married with four children, but to him the word ‘family’ includes parents, in-laws, siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, and in-laws. Greg says only recently has the meaning of family shifted from the extended intergenerational family to today’s idea of the nuclear family. Growing up as one of six children, it’s important for Greg to think of himself as part of this larger familial structure.

Greg’s driving force to write Essentialism was when he realized how pathetically short life is. The older we get, the more quickly it seems to fly by. We are constantly busy and distracted. He cites the stoic philosopher Seneca, who wrote about the dangers of busyness 2,000 years ago. Our culture values an existence where we feel like we have to do everything. Our lives are crammed, pushing out the few vital things that will mean the most to us at the end of our lives.

What You’ll Learn

  • The Planning Fallacy – no matter how well you plan, things will take much longer than you thought
  • How to figure out which projects to take on
  • How to push past the guilt factor of not “doing it all”
  • Practicing the 100 Years Value Exercise: How to envision the impact your life will have in this world by imagining 100 years into the past and future
  • How your role as a dad can impact future generations, even if they won’t remember you
  • How to build systems for your role as a dad with cascading priorities
  • How to hold sacred time to design each week according to your essentials
  • Why you should write on paper instead of a digital device
  • 3 Things to Write Down Each Day
    • One insight
    • One memory
    • One decision
  • How the Industrial Revolution shifted our focus from family to industry
  • How we follow obsolete living strategies that we didn’t choose
  • How to choose which parts of our cultural strategies work for us
  • How to analyze the ‘because’ part of a situation to drill down to what really matters
  • how every time we say ‘yes’ to something that won’t impact our future, we are robbing our time for what is essential
  • Why or why not Greg McKeown may write another book


'It’s not about us. We will soon be forgotten, but that doesn’t change our responsibility. In fact, it extends it.' – @GregoryMcKeown #dads #men #fathers #fatherhood #manhood #legacy #impact Click To Tweet


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