The One Thing is a much needed reminded in today’s multi tasked world that the overlooked essential ingredient to success is the ability to stay focused when chasing your dreams. Successful people are not distracted. They do not let anything stand in their way of achieving their goals. This book provides a bullet proof plan to help those struggling to follow through to tune out all of the noise.
My key Takeaways from “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results" by Gary Keller
Takeaway #1 Ask Yourself This One Focusing Question To Live a Life of Purpose
Being overwhelmed stops most of us in our tracks, there are so many things we need and want to do – Where do we start? Most people have heard the quote about eating an elephant 1 bite at a time but to do that you first have to decide which bite to take first! Multitasking is not the answer. The author's of this book advise you to ask the following focusing question:
What's the ONE thing I can do, such that by doing it everything else will become easier or unnecessary?
The question has 2 levels. On a macro level the question helps you to identify your overall goal. On a short-term level it provides you with prioritized focus on the immediate action you need to take which leads to momentum and progress. Keep asking the question every day, visualize the next steps, complete them, and you'll start to achieve extraordinary things.
Takeaway #2 Form Habits One At a Time to Become Disciplined
To achieve your goals you need to create good habits, but again, this can be overwhelming. Discipline yourself to start with one habit, master it so that it becomes automatic, and then introduce other good habits one at a time, you're less likely to 'drop all the balls' this way.
Takeaway #3 Your Willpower Isn't Limitless – Recognize This & Harness It
With every decision you make, emotion you suppress, and behavior you modify your willpower becomes a little more depleted until it has been completely drained. This is why we often slip back into our old ways and indulge in guilty pleasures. Make the most of your day and harness your willpower by making key decisions and working on your priorities first thing in the day when your willpower is at its highest.
Takeaway #4 You Can't Pause Life – Accept The Chaos Whilst You Focus
When you've identified your goal and you're working towards it, one step at a time, you're going to find yourself distracted by other things going on in life. Whilst it's vital to manage your time and say no to people and tasks that are not important it's not possible or practical to completely pause life – Unexpected things come up all the time and your work/life balance should not be sacrificed long term in order to reach your goal i.e don't say no to your friends so many times that you end up losing them and don't miss out on seeing your kids grow up because you were striving for a promotion at work.
The ONE Thing Chapters
Chapter One - The One Thing
Chapter Two - The Domino Effect
Chapter Three - Success Leaves Clues
Chapter Four - Everything Matters Equally
Chapter Five - Multitasking
Chapter Six - A Disciplined Life
Chapter Seven - Willpower Is Always on Will Call
Chapter Eight - A Balanced Life
Chapter Nine - Big is Bad
Best Quotes from The ONE Thing
"It is not that we have too little time to do all the things we need to do, it is that we feel the need to do too many things in the time we have…. Make sure every day you do what matters most. When you know what matters most, everything makes sense. When you don’t know what matters most, anything makes sense."
"Passion for something leads to disproportionate time practicing or working at it. That time spent eventually translates to skill, and when skill improves, results improve. Better results generally lead to more enjoyment, and more passion and more time is invested. It can be a virtuous cycle all the way to extraordinary results."
"A life worth living might be measured in many ways, but the one way that stands above all others is living a life of no regrets… When people look back on their lives, it is the things they have not done that generate the greatest regret...; it is their inactions that plague them most with long-term feelings of regret"
"Instead of a to-do list, you need a success list—a list that is purposefully created around extraordinary results… To-do lists tend to be long; success lists are short. One pulls you in all directions; the other aims you in a specific direction. One is a disorganized directory and the other is an organized directive.... If your to-do list contains everything, then it’s probably taking you everywhere but where you really want to go."
"Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus… the majority of what you want will come from the minority of what you do."
"Success is about doing the right thing, not about doing everything right."
"if you want to get the most out of your day, do your most important work—your ONE Thing—early, before your willpower is drawn down. Since your self-control will be sapped throughout the day, use it when it’s at full strength on what matters most."
― Gary Keller, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
Editor and Founder
Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating the next generation of leaders to their true potential.