Subtract

While the Nonessentialist is busy applying more and more pressure and piling on more and more solutions, the Essentialist simply makes a one-time investment in removing obstacles.

Short-term improvements are usually achieved by fixing minor issues as they come up. However, this is just like plugging a leaky dam with a finger. It might hold back the flow of water for a bit, but sooner or later, it will burst.

To achieve long-term overall improvements, you will need to identify your biggest obstacle, which is the part of your system that is functioning the most poorly. Once it has been identified, you can remove it from your life.

Removing obstacles does not have to be difficult. In fact, it’s similar to dislodging a boulder at the top of a hill. All you need is to give it a small push, and the momentum will build. Soon, the boulder will be rolling away.

Principles to follow