“This person is a great worker! He’s drunk all the time.”

Have you ever read a book and fallen in its thrall to such an extent that upon finishing it you turned around and began reading it again?

In my twenties I was so gobsmacked by Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s tale The Chronicle of a Death Foretold that I read it through to the end on a Saturday afternoon . . . and re-read it again Sunday morning.

The narrative was so compellingly told that even though you knew the death was going to happen . . . because Marquez kept circling you around the jealousies and passions and even the death itself . . .  you kept feeling up until the very last page that somehow it would be averted.

I’ve not been that taken with a book since. Until now.

In this case it’s an audiobook. Once finished I started again. 

Sometimes you come to a book because you’re already living out a part of its concept — the author has taken the idea and fleshed it out so thoroughly it’s like seeing how your life could play out.

When you come to a book like that, you’re ready for the message. Hell, you’re living it. Partially. And the author takes you down the path of what it might be like to live it fully.

That’s how I feel with Essentialism. The idea that the best lives are lived by paring away the trivial to amplify what is most significant.

This week’s excerpt comes from that book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown. This is just one tiny nugget from a book that mines deep ore:

In a Harvard Business Review article called Sleep Deficit: The Performance Killer,  Dr. Charles A. Czeisler, the Baldino Professor of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, has explained how sleep deprivation undermines high performance. 

He likens sleep deficit to drinking too much alcohol, explaining that pulling an all-nighter  i.e., going 24 hours without sleep or having a week of sleeping just 4 or 5 hours a night actually induces an impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.1%. 

Think about this. We would never say, “This person is a great worker! He’s drunk all the time.” 

Yet we continue to celebrate people who sacrifice sleep for work.

For you 

Evan Griffith
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