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The Discipline to Discard

Rochelle spoke to me repeatedly about the idea of “making your life a creative work of art.” A great piece of art is composed not just of what is in the final piece, but equally important, what is not. It is the discipline to discard what does not fit — to cut out what might have already cost days or even years of effort — that distinguishes the truly exceptional artist and marks the ideal piece of work, be it a symphony, a novel, a painting, a company or, most important of all, a life.

Jim Collins, The Stop Doing List

This is one of my favorite quotes from the article by Jim Collins.   I am reflecting on it today, because I recognize the challenge of “letting go” in the development of a productive and purposeful life.

For those with leadership responsibility, the discipline to discard can be a daunting task.  This is why I have developed 3 questions for those who hold this role in life at home, work, or play.

  1. What must I do?
  2. What should I delegate?
  3. What should I eliminate?