Effortless by Greg McKeown - Notes & Highlights

Effortless by Greg McKeown - Notes & Highlights


What if it was easy? With everybody running around being busy, taking a step back and learning how to make your life easier is worthwhile.

Table of contents

🚀 The Book in 3 Sentences

  1. Effortless. The next book from Greg McKeown after Essentialism. What if it was easy? That is one of the mental models Greg discusses in the book's first part. If everything you are doing is essential but too much for you to handle. You have to look at how you can make things easier.
  2. What if it was more fun? The second part focuses on making tasks often perceived as mundane or hard more fun. Connecting fun things to tasks you don't like doing makes them easier to bear. Create a list with your 'fun things' and see how you can implement them. E.g., running/exercising is often perceived as a not-so-fun thing to do, but people usually love music. So listening to music while running makes it easier to bear.
  3. The book's third part discusses levers to maximize the results of the effort put into any task. You are looking for residual effects if you want to grow in any field.

🎨 Impressions

I read Effortless right after I finished, 'Never finished' by David Goggins. It is hard to get through the first part after Goggins hyped you up for several days to stay hard! The messages contradicted in so many ways that I had to take some time to open my mind and explore the book's contents. Besides that, Essentialism, the first book, was a life changer for me, so Effortless had high expectations from me.

However, this book doesn't disappoint and is a book that I highly recommend reading to many people. Especially part 3 of the book is worth the read. This part overlaps with the messages Naval Ravikant is putting forward and is something I believe in very much.

The book is very well structured. Three parts, and after every part, there is a summary, making it easier to remember. The book is full of examples of industry leaders putting these mental models into practice, making it easy to understand why it is essential.

How I Discovered It

Following Greg McKeown, after I read his first book Essentialism.

Who Should Read It?

Burn-outs and mental issues are plaguing our society, and this would be an excellent book to read if you feel stressed and overwhelmed by all the things that must be done. However, I suggest starting with Essentialism before exploring the contents of Effortless.

☘️ How the Book Changed Me

💡 How my life / behaviour / thoughts / ideas have changed as a result of reading the book.

  • This book made me realize I want to teach more. When you learn to teach, you teach yourself to learn.
  • Turning habits into rituals. Habit + psychological change = ritual.

✍️ My Top 3 Quotes

  • Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.
  • When you focus on what you lack, you lose what you have; when you focus on what you have, you gain what you lack
  • When you learn to teach, you teach yourself to learn

📒 Raw notes