Success By Subtraction
Success By Subtraction

Success By Subtraction

Quick Summary

To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, subtract things everyday.—Lao-Tzu

We live in a culture that celebrates abundance. The idea of “more is better” is everywhere around us—in food, clothes, apps, information, possessions, money, and more.

Therefore we tend to think of addition as a key to our definition of success.

But there’s a paradox at work that we almost never hear about. Sometimes, we get more value, success, and results when we subtract rather than add.

  • Products with fewer features are often easier to use.
  • Removing clutter from our environment makes us productive.
  • Simple designs are often more beautiful than complex ones.
  • Saying no to non-essentials frees us up to say yes to essentials.
  • Many of the most profound scientific formulas are super simple.
  • We tend to better follow through on habits when they are few and simple.

The power of focus is underestimated. When you remove the unnecessary from your life, and focus on the few crucial things, two things happen:

  • Once you let go of something toxic, it no longer pulls you down.
  • The fewer things you focus on, the deeper you can go in them, which leads to more success.

We all intuitively understand this model on some level. But, here's the thing: SAYING NO IS HARD. There are many biases that make it so.

In this manual, we’ll do the deepest and most comprehensive dive on the mental model of subtraction that (to our knowledge) has ever been done. By the end, you'll have clarity on:

  • Why you should be saying NO more often.
  • How to identify what to say NO to.
  • How to update your mindset to remove clutter from your life.
  • How to deal with the many biases that make subtraction hard.
  • How to actually say NO with graciousness.

View Full Mastery Manual

Watch Class

Other Resources


Related Model

Subtraction Learning Method
Subtraction Learning Method

Navigate Mental Models Related To Success