Less But Better

I am reading an insightful book called Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown and its main point is that “less but better” is an idea whose time has come. The author touches on what has widely come to be known as the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 Rule, which I blogged about earlier in my post titled Living the Edited Life. As he reminds readers, our focus needs to be on the 20% of our efforts that produce 80% of our results.

McKeown also shares how uber-investor Warren Buffett—who famously said “Our investment philosophy borders on lethargy”—owes 90% of his wealth to only 10 investments, which got me thinking about what I’ll call the Tithe Principle. As anyone remotely familiar with the scriptural concept of tithing knows, a tithe represents a tenth, or 10%, of one’s wealth. And as a believer myself, I can attest to a higher standard of living with the 90% left after tithing than the alternative of not tithing.

The book even delves into what is called the power law theory, whereby certain efforts actually produce exponentially more results than others, as in 10X, or 100X or even 1000X. The thinking here is that it pays to leverage our assets in such a way as to optimize our endeavors; in other words, work smarter not harder, or exercise what I call the Eagle Ethic. While eagles are powerful birds of prey they conserve their energy by being very strategic in their hunting, to the point that some may consider them lazy. Their motto could easily be: minimum effort, maximum effect. Less but better: what a concept.