What I Learned from Greg McKeown and “Essentialism”

Purchase this book and read more about the author here.

(My takeaways in parenthesis)

An essentialist knows play sparks exploration” (so they prioritize activities that provide them this outlet. Whether that’s a sport, an arts class, or even a video game)

“The idea that play is trivial stays with us as we reach adulthood and only becomes more ingrained as we enter the workplace” (Ouch. It is not okay if your workplace is holding you back. May I suggest one of my improv for business classes?)

“Play prepares you for a changing planet.” (Since taking my first class back in 2004, improv has given me lots of gifts. This is the one that keeps giving because the planet never, ever, stops changing. Improv teaches you to hold your ideas tightly with an open fist. That your brilliant scientist character idea is now completely different because your scene partner endowed you as a caveman. But who says this caveman can’t also be a scientist way WAY ahead of his time? Improv prepares you for anything.)

“We are built to play and built through play.” (Such a beautiful sentence. If only people gave themselves the space to realize this. I’ve long said that the world would be a much better place if everyone took just one improv class)

“Play stimulates the parts of the brain involved in both careful, logical reasoning AND carefree, unbound exploration” (Seems unfair that one art form can cross all of those important items off that list, but improv can. If you’re ready to get serious about play, here’s a list of my upcoming virtual improv classes)


Chris Trew is a comedy person based in New Orleans where he helped “start a comedy scene from scratch” (Vulture). He’s performed in over 60 comedy and music festivals across North America and has been seen on NBA.com, Comedy Central, and GQ Magazine.

Published by Chris Trew

Chris Trew is a comedian from New Orleans.

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