• Don't spread out energies, go farther in the truly vital areas.
  • Requires a keen filter to go through options and select the essential
  • Live by design, not default

Peter Drucker: "In a few hundred years....most important event...wont be technology, internet, e will be substanital and rapid numbers of people having choices. For the first time, they will have to manage themselves. And Society is totally unprepared for it"
  • Having it all is a myth, you must make choices
  • Why are we not celebrating time we have with people we love, listening, pondering and meditating?
  • What if students had time to think about highest contribution so when they left school they weren't just racing to nowhere?


  • Choice is an action, not a set of options.
  • When we forget ability to choose, we learn to be helpless
  • Efforts and results may not be linear, may have a "power law". Almost everything you can do is worthless with view things of exceptional value
  • WE either make choices, are they are made for us
  • Which problem do I want?
Four burner stove. Extreme example: cut of 1 to be successful, really successful, 2.
  • family
  • friends
  • health
  • work


Without great solitude no serious work is possible - Picasso
  • Abolishing boredom —> pondering and deep thinking become casualties
  • Not just the who, what when, where, need the WHY it matters
  • Be journalist of your own life, write the story you want in the context of your meaning
  • Discerning what is essential to explore is a skill
  • Write a daily journal, less than you want each day. Review quarterly.
  • What question are you trying to answer?
  • Play broadens the range of options available, is an antidote to stress, +ve effect on our executive function of the brain
  • Sleep is at top of list of protecting the asset of yourself
  • New something must pass a 90% threshold "Hell YEAH!" or "No"
  • Area to concentrate in: What am I deeply passionate about? What taps my talent? What meets a need in the world?


  • People thrive on clarity. That's why you must eliminate objectives you have chose not to pursue. Be explicit and ruthless
  • When you aren't clear in your own lives, you make up stupid social games to worry about
  • Essential Intent = Concrete and Aspirational
    • Creating Essential Intent is hard. It takes courage, insight and foresight to see which activities and efforts will add up to your highest point of contribution.
  • Apply zero based budgeting to your time — start from scratch and use 90/10 rule
  • Best editors use subtraction
  • Don't make exceptions (slippery slope)
  • Boundaries protect time from being hijacked
  • Forcing others to solve own problems is equally beneficial to you and them


  • Existentialists plan, look ahead, come up with contingencies
  • Always look for and remove "slowest hiker" in your job or your life, keeping you back from what really matters to you
  • Start out small and build from there. Progress is the strongest human motivator
  • Pixar: We don't finish our films, we release them. Always iterating, improving, get feedback loop going.
  • Cue then routine then reward = habit
  • What would you like to do someday? not a commitment llist, but get it out of your head and prioritize.
  • What you put on to do list is more important than how fast you check things off

Bottom line: Live without regret. Think about your choices, identify what matters, invest time and energy into it and you cannot regret, win or lose. You become proud regardless.