Useful but not essential

Lots of things are useful. But only a fraction are truly essential.

As professionals we often get hung up by mis-classifying useful things as essential.

This leads us to create ‘If-then’ loops in our mind. If the essential thing is available, then I can do what I need to do.

In this start-stop Covid era, any kind of momentum in our work is useful. But we waste time when we insist that momentum is essential before we take the next steps.

Sure, momentum is essential in some scenarios such as a spacecraft needing escape velocity to break the gravitational pull. But those scenarios are rarer than we might think.

If you reviewed the projects on your plate right now, I’m pretty sure you’d find some examples of hold-ups due to your assessment of some requirement as essential. Maybe it’s merely useful?

Waiting for perfect conditions diminishes our potential contribution. Better to build the habit of doing what needs to be done.


This post was adapted from one of Aodan’s Sunday morning newsletters, eagerly anticipated by hundreds of readers. Give yourself the gift of that weekly wisdom by signing up here.

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