The word essentiality has almost disappeared from our daily vocabulary. Nobody cares anymore: it doesn’t make the news or, worse, it is considered as a synonym of poverty, lack, something that has nothing to do with image and success, so it is looked at with suspicion, it is feared, give the idea of inferiority.
However, I fear that his loss has not improved our existence, rather it has made us more numb and indifferent. Because essentiality is instead an extraordinary way of approaching life, which gives clarity to thoughts, depth to feelings, efficacy to actions.
The term “essentiality” brings us back to the essence, it goes to the root of reality. If we discover the essence of something or someone, we will know that thing or person in the most exact, complete, and true way. If we become essential it does not simply mean that we will not love waste, complicated things, the superfluous, but much more, it means that we only appreciate and want what is most true.
Focusing on the essential also means making choices.
I know that it is something that many do not like, partly because it costs effort, partly because it takes a little more time (to reflect), partly because saying no to something or someone always seems like a bit of a loss and/or makes us feel guilty. But, to be realistic, we must also admit that among the things we want to do, it is not possible that we really care about everything. First, because it is not possible that everything interests us, that we really want to do it. Second because we are human beings and it is impossible to do everything. Third, because even if we succeeded, which is highly unlikely, I do not think it would guarantee us a reward, a type of happiness, or ‘supremacy’ over the others.
But yet, going to the essentials, on the other hand, means making choices, saying no to anything that is not relevant to achieving our goal, be it life, professional, relationship, everything. Making choices in turn means understanding what the few essential things are, compared to a multitude of irrelevant, or at least secondary, things.
Essential means being able to build a path that has as its point of arrival what we have set ourselves, developing what is important to us, and knowing what we need to achieve.
Only in this way is it possible to achieve excellence, regardless of the type of activity you practice. We cannot be too distracted with projects that arise day by day, because the dispersion linked to the many stimuli that can come, even from advanced technology, risks leading us astray.
On the contrary, we must always keep in mind the principle of essentiality, understood as a guiding thought that allows us to continue on the path we have built to reach the goal, especially in the professional field.
Obviously, this does not mean that the search for the essential must take on the characteristics of obsession. Knowing how to recognize the essential in your project means being able to prune and reduce all that is ephemeral and superficial in the pursuit of the goal, but without losing the contribution that people, objects, and technology can offer. Otherwise, there is only the risk of going towards an excessively rigid discipline, which takes on the contours of obsession, arriving at the inability to grasp what can come from others.
The essential term, therefore, must be seen with a clear positive connotation, which goes beyond simply setting oneself a goal and reaching it by closing in on oneself as automatons, but rather requires the right rational opening towards the outside world, a source of stimuli and growth.
From a professional point of view, therefore, one must not fall into the delirium of skills: the person must be ready to receive external stimuli while maintaining the well-targeted route towards the goal.
The right question to ask ourselves with respect to the many, many things that we tell ourselves we have to do, in life and at work, is therefore not “how can I do everything?” but rather: “what I really want (or must) do to achieve the goal, and how can I do it in the best possible way and in the shortest possible time”.