ESSENTIALISM and the Power of Saying “No”

A Beautiful “No” Reminder

In the Victorian Era, people sent messages with flowers. Red chrysanthemum for “Love”, purple hyacinth for “Sorry”,  yellow rose for “Friendship”—and a striped carnation for “No”.

Download our custom striped carnation desktop wallpaper here, as a beautiful reminder of the power of a “No”:

Wallpaper from Reify 8and21 with a quote about ESSENTIALISM

Curious about the language of flowers? Check out this article by the Planterra Conservatory in Michigan. Or for a modern fictional take, check out The Language of Flowers, a novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.


Greg McKeown, in his 2014 bestseller, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, discusses the importance of getting clear on your goal. Because once your goal is clear, you can laser-focus on the task that will make it a reality. (And say “No” to the tasks that won’t.)

“Essentialists see trade-offs as an inherent part of life, not as an inherently negative part of life.

Instead of asking, ‘What do I have to give up?’ they ask, ‘What do I want to go big on?’”

Check out this video of Greg McKeown speaking with The Stanford Graduate School of Business about how, sometimes, success (and the opportunities that come with success) can lead to a distracted “undisciplined pursuit of more”, and why the disciplined “pursuit of less” can lead to better.

“Essentialists practice and learn and develop… this skill of saying ‘No’.”

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