June 1, 2021

What Is Truly Essential?

Recently, we started a book club at Fiat. At first, there were a few of us who weren’t too thrilled that we were getting “homework”. But, we smiled, took our free book and went on our merry way. And then something crazy happened…we read the book and we learned things and we liked it! Who knew this could happen?

One of the first books we read was Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less, by Greg McKeown. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. In our world, where most people live by the motto “more is better”, this book teaches you to realize that having less may be better for you. It explains how overwhelming our lives have become and how to really look at your life to determine what is necessary or truly needed in order for you to feel fulfilled.

So, how do you determine what is essential in your life? We know that 2 things are essential for life: food and water. We are just crawling out of the end of a 15 month pandemic where so many things such as; social interactions, schooling, workplaces, places of worship, restaurants, travel and group events were taken away from us. We all had to adjust to this new way of life because we had no choice. Was it easy? No. Did we survive, but with a lot of complaining along the way? Yes.

I truly believe the pandemic forced us to explore what is essential in our lives and when the following 3 essentials were taken away from us, there was a definite negative effect:

  • Social Interaction: Without the ability to be with family and friends, the depression rates in the US tripled during the past year;
  • Education: Findings imply that students made little or even no progress while learning from home for the past school year. There has also been a huge increase in students’ mental health issues, which are projected to continue for the foreseeable future.
  • Economic Stability: During the first months of the pandemic, the unemployment rate went from 3.5% to 14.8%. Food insecurity was high, the food banks were empty, people lost their homes and weren’t able to pay their bills.

Obviously, these 3 things are essentials because without them, people struggled dramatically.

A common theme that people have stated since the pandemic began is that with so fewer activities and commitments in their lives, they have been able to focus on the important things…spending time with family, reconnecting with nature and trying to improve themselves.

Could this be a silver lining to an otherwise horrible year? I think so. Taking away the extra, time-consuming activities that were part of our lives that we thought were essential, but weren’t at all fulfilling to us…did it make us realize what is truly essential to our lives?

Having less in your life is not a bad thing. This can make you just as happy as having more in your life. Sometimes, more can make your life feel cluttered and overwhelming.

Take a moment and think about what is essential to you…you may be surprised at what you discover!

Written By: Jen Johnston

Thoughts or comments? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at: hello@fiatwm.com.

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