Category Archives: Focus

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

The Way of the Essentialist involves doing less, but better, so you can make the highest possible contribution.

The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s not about getting less done. It’s about getting only the right things done. It’s about challenging the core assumption of ‘we can have it all’ and ‘I have to do everything’ and replacing it with
the pursuit of ‘the right thing, in the right way, at the right time’. It’s about regaining control of our own choices about where to spend our time and energies instead of giving others implicit permission to choose for us.

In Essentialism, Greg McKeown draws on experience and insight from working with the leaders of the most innovative companies in the world to show how to achieve the disciplined pursuit of less.

By applying a more selective criteria for what is essential, the pursuit of less allows us to regain control of our own choices so we can channel our time, energy and effort into making the highest possible contribution toward the goals and activities that matter.

This week at Good / True / & Beautiful Podcast Greg McKeown joins us as we talk about Essentialism and the numerous key takeaways this work offers.

You can stream or download this episode in iTunesStitcher, and at AshtonGustafson.com

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Leadership, Vision, & Purpose with Chris Powers // CEO of Fort Capital

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Chris Powers is a serial entrepreneur with more than 13 years of real estate development and investment experience and has developed over $200M in multi-family, student housing, commercial/industrial, and residential & land development projects throughout Fort Worth and the greater DFW Metroplex. Chris is a visionary with a demonstrated talent in looking ahead at what could be and understanding what must be done today to get there. His ability to conceptualize, raise capital, and execute are only a small part of what Chris brings to the table.

Chris oversees the vision for Fort Capital, Fort’s largest deals, capital relationships, executive level recruiting, strategic partnerships, and chairs the investment committee. Creating meaningful relationships and building a team around a vision and Fort’s goals are the most important qualities that make Chris ready for the job. With a belief that investing time in people is the best investment that can be made, Chris has built a strong network throughout Texas that has helped catapult Fort to where it is today.  “I want to build a culture that fosters creativity and creates leaders – our goal is to be the absolute best place to work in Fort Worth, because when we have the best people who are encouraged to give their best – we are unstoppable.”

Powers graduated with a BBA in Finance & Marketing from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX. Innovative, ethics-driven, people-focused, community-minded and passionate about ideas that matter, Powers’ professional philosophy remains the same as his personal one: “Tell the truth and be nice to people.” As a champion of young entrepreneurship and causes that give our youth better resources, Chris is passionate about serving Rivertree Academy in Fort Worth, the TCU Chancellor’s Advisory Council, and the Ben Hogan Strategic Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Forbes Real Estate Council and Fort Worth YPO Chapter. He lives in Fort Worth, TX with his wife Mikal, his daughter Palmer.

You can stream or download this episode in iTunes, Stitcher, and at AshtonGustafson.com.

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Grace

My experience has led me to notice that most of us tend to ‘say grace’ not out of a spirit of awe and wonder, but more often with a posture of obligation, duty, and routine. It’s just what you do, in some circles, after your aunt has prepared her casserole for your uncle’s birthday.

If we’re honest, connecting grace to annual casserole traditions hasn’t helped our eyes learn how to search for true grace.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Grace can be and is always more available than we tend to be.

And the second we allow ourselves to become available is the second grace becomes the very air we breathe.

Until we start seeing grace in the very chair we’re sitting in, we’ll continue to be blind in our steps that follow.

So look for grace today.

Even if it’s just to yourself, say something when you see it.

Watch it start to multiply.

Watch yourself start to be it.

We always will see through the eyes of what we’re becoming.

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Generous hands

A few blocks from where I live there’s a refrigerator in one’s driveway.

Snaking out of the garage is an extension cord so the refrigerator has power.

Every morning one to three fresh flower arrangements from the yard of this property are placed in this refrigerator and an adjacent handwritten sign reads ‘Flowers $3.00 – Please return vases’.

I have never met the one who does this.

I’ve never seen them either.

But they have made it very clear who they are and what they’re about through their generous hands.

What will they say about us?

All of our lives are like refrigerators in driveways.

Hopefully, you’re picking flowers, arranging them in your unique flair and voice, and placing them in your front yard refrigerator for the world to enjoy.

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Window washing

I had the windows at my house cleaned recently. While no one else noticed, I sure did.

This small act made looking out from my home an entirely new experience.

I could feel the trees sway in a way I hadn’t before.

I could decode the message the flowers were there to convey.

And the sun entered the living spaces with golden benevolence.

In reality, though, nothing had changed. The trees had been like this all along. So were the flowers. And also the sun.

But what changed?

Just the removal of film and buildup on the windows and my view from the inside.

It reminds me of the moments I give myself some time to each morning to wash the windows of my eyes.

When I wash the repetitive thoughts and unnecessary angst away, I’m able to take in a whole new human experience.

As many have said before, we don’t see how things are…we see things as we are.

Yes, Windex for the soul comes in many forms: solitude, silence, stillness, & gratitude – just to name a few.

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