Book Review: The one thing

Image result for one thing book 
Author: Gary Keller, Jay Papasan
‘The one thing’ is the one book you read to know all that is required to be successful. When I saw the chapters I thought it was going to be just another book with the same old stuff. The content is same. Not denying it. But every page in the book is meant to motivate the reader. The chapters are in perfect order to set the context. There are a few perfect examples to etch the concept in readers minds. And there are also exercises for you to think about your one thing. Overall, it was interesting. I didn’t feel like putting down the book at all.
The book starts with this wonderful quote:

“If you chase two rabbits you will not catch even one.”

And each chapter starts with a quote. 
Some of my favourites:

“Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one till you get there.”

“Success demands singleness of purpose.”

And there are many more in the book.
To make it easy for the readers, the book has been classified into 3 parts. He tells you the lies which derail you. The truth which helps you get back to focus. Finally, the extraordinary results which are got by ditching the lies and embracing the truth.
Ch1: The one thing
If you have 10 things to fix, think about the one thing which is going to make everything else easy. Go to the smallest thing.
Ch2:Domino effect 
Success builds on one thing at a time. Prioritize things for the day. And the one thing is going to get dominoes started.
Ch3: Success leaves clues
He gives a lot of examples to show how people or organizations who followed one thing were successful. Identify your one thing. If you don’t know the one thing, that itself is the one thing you need to do. No one is self made. Passion and skill can be made into one.
Part 1: Lies : They mislead and derail us
Ch 4: Everything Matters Equally

  • ·        Activity doesn’t mean productivity.
  • ·        The things which are important don’t always shout the loudest
  • ·        The dark side of to-do lists are the trivial things which catch our    attention. There is no sequence in general.
  • ·        Success lists help you build the stones for your success
  • ·        A to-do list becomes success list only when you prioritize it
  • ·        Thing big, go small

Ch 5: Multitasking
          Multitasking is about screwing up more than one activity at a time.
Ch 6: Discipline
  • ·        Success is about doing the right thing and not everything right
  • ·        You can’t be disciplined in everything. Just select the one which matters      for you and make habits around it
  • ·        Hard stuff becomes habit and habit makes the hard stuff easy
  • ·        On an average it takes 66 days to make a habit
  • ·        Selective discipline is what is required
  • ·        Build one habit at a time, habits are sequential not simultaneous
Ch 7: Will power
  • ·        Will power is not on will call
  • ·        It’s a limited renewable resource
  • ·        Food for thought- complex carbs and protein
  • ·        Taxes on will power
  • ·        Time your task

Ch 8:A balanced life
  • ·        Unattainable pipe dream
  • ·        Purpose, significance and meaning make life successful
  • ·        Magic never happens in the middle. Magic happens at the extremes
  • ·        Counter balancing done well gives illusion of balance

Ch 9: Big is bad
We are kept from our goal not because of obstacles but a clear path to less important goal
Part 2: The truth –Simple path to productivity
Be careful how you interpret the world. It is like that.
Ch 10: Focusing question
  • ·       What is the one thing I can do
  • ·        Such that by doing it
  • ·        Everything will be easy or unnecessary

Ch 11: The success habit
     Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time.
Ch 12:The path to great answers
Image result for great question matrix
Part 3: Extraordinary results- Unlocking the possibilities within you
Ch 13: Live with purpose
Life isn’t about finding yourself it is about creating yourself.
Ch 14: Live by priority
·        Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now
·        Live with purpose then you know where to go
·        Live by priority you know what to do to get there
·        Hyperbolic discounting
·        Lining up your dominoes – goal setting to the now
Ch 15: Live for productivity
·        Block your calendar first for vacations and then for one thing
·        Protect your time block
Ch 16: The three commitments
·        Nobody whoever gave his best regretted it
·        The commitments
1.      Seek mastery
2.    Seek best ways of doing it
3.    Willing to be held accountable
Ch 17: The four thieves
·        Focus is a matter of what things you are not going to do
·        The four thieves are
1.      Inability to Say “No”
2.    Fear of Chaos
3.    Poor Health Habits
4.    Environment Doesn’t Support Your Goals
·        Don’t be a victim of your circumstances
Ch 18: The journey
·        Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go
·        There are two wolves inside you – the one you feed is what grows
Ch 19: Putting the one thing to work
       Start thinking about the one thing which helps you in different aspects of life. 
    Happy discovering your one thing !

What is really required for success?

Image result for the word success

There are many misconceptions on success. You hear a lot of stories. You hold a lot of false beliefs in your head. You are at the right place now. Read further and change your beliefs.

Tough Love vs pampering love

Pampering love feels safe and cosy. All of us crave for it. Everyone believes that they need some one who can support them through the thick and thin. But is that all required to be successful? A successful person will not only have a supporter but also a mentor who gives tough love. It is tough love which pushes you out of your comfort zone. Pampering love tells you that it is okay to fail and you need not feel bad about it. But tough love challenges you to retry and discover your true self.

With Mentor vs Without Mentor:
A lot of people complain that they are not able to succeed because they don’t have a mentor. They want a mentor to give them the manual to success. If you are one of them, it is better to open your eyes today than later. There is no step by step instructions to success. The world out there is wild. Go and explore it. You definitely need a mentor to avoid the most obvious mistakes. Books and courses can provide you that guidance. Don’t wait till you find a person as your mentor. You can make books and courses your mentor and start working. Mentor will find a way to you. 

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho.

Passion vs Strengths

There are two sets of people. The first set thinks that they are useless. They have neither passion nor any strengths. If you belong to this category, change your mindset immediately. Don’t consider yourself as useless. There will be something about you which is unique. Do you love eating? You can become a food taster. Do you watch TV a lot? You can earn money by writing reviews of the TV programs you watch. Just find that damn thing which you are good at.
Now the second set of people has both passion and strengths. They waste a lot of time in deciding between passion and strength. If you are in this category, stick to one thing. It does not matter what you are doing. Because passion is anyway going to fade when obstacles come into the picture. If you believe in your strengths, develop passion in it. Make it interesting. The successful ones are those who persevere through hardships. Not the ones who are still trying to choose between passion and strengths.

Hard work vs Smart work:

People don’t work on their dreams because they are busy thinking how to be smart. You don’t become smart by thinking. You become smart by doing and failing. All looks fine in the imaginary plan. You will come across the loopholes only when you execute the plan. Start quick, fail quicker.
Hard work does not mean donkey work. You have to put in deliberate practice. You need to be a step ahead than what you have done the previous day. Next time don’t call the same old work you have doing for the entire year as hard work.

Full-time vs Part-time:                                 

“I work 9 to 5. I need to quit my job to be successful.”
Don’t ever till this to yourself. It is just an excuse for not working. Everyone has the same 24 hours in their time account every day. Your day time job gives you the financial security. The part-time work helps you get closer to your dreams. You move closer to your dream by only sweating for a little more time after work each day. You can quit your full-time job once your part -time work gives you enough income. You can also scale the part time job to a full time job.

Start today vs Start when you are ready

You don’t have to become super smart or millionaire to start working on your dreams. You can start from wherever you
are now. All you need to do is take some action everyday. You will eventually become the person you always dreamt of becoming.

Small vs Big

You want to write a book in a month. Probably if you work hard, you will accomplish it. But writing a book without even writing an article before, tells how novice your book is going to be. And the fatigue which the month-long exercise gives you, will make you hate writing. You will subconsciously avoid it. So start small. Ocean was formed through drops only. So will be your book.

Journey vs Destination

People want immediate results. Ask people who succeeded, how it felt to be successful. They tell you that it was the journey which they enjoyed the most. Stop waiting for the destination and enjoy the journey today.

Old ideas vs New ideas

People don’t work on their dreams because they wait for a new idea. If you have a new idea, which is going to transform the world, congratulations! You are welcome here. But if you don’t have a new idea, you can always work on how to make the existing idea better. It is no less compared to the new idea.

Ordinary vs Perfection

Perfection is important but it is not the only thing. You can chase perfection. But first get the basics right. Then work on improving it. Don’t stop your work under the name of perfection.

Risk vs Moving out of comfort zone

Taking a big step which involves huge investment without formulating the plan is a risk. Taking a small step with the big picture in mind is moving out of comfort zone.

Now that all your misconceptions have washed away, start a new journey with new beliefs.

Happy walking on the success path!

This small exercise will help you discover yourself

Image result for self discovery
How much time do you spend on knowing about your favorite celebrity?
You read and watch every small thing about the celebrity. If I were to ask you a random question about that celebrity, you have the answer ready

What if I ask the same question about you? You will stumble.

Why do you spend so much time on them? Because, you consider them important. And you take some of them as your role models.

What about you? Aren’t you important too? What if someone published an article about you too? If you have to ever give an interview to an editor, you need to be aware of yourself first. Without knowing yourself, how can you explain yourself to others? How often do you know the reason behind how you behave? It sounds as if I am digressing, but there is a connection.

I have been doing a small exercise since the past 30 days. You can start it off as a 30-day challenge but you should continue till you know yourself completely.
I take a topic which can provide me insights about myself each day and write 10 things on that. This idea had been in the pipeline since 2 years but I could start it only last month. I had been postponing this for two years because I did not know where to start and how to keep the chain. So this time, I started off by writing the 10 prompts on which I will write for the next 10 days. This idea was a kick starter. Now on the 12th day, I wrote the second set of prompts. So I didn’t have to break the chain at all.

Now the biggest confusion in your head is what should the prompts be like.
Here are a few prompts which I have written:

>How can I add value to others’ lives?
>My fears
>My limiting beliefs
>Core values
>Must have items
>Purpose of my life
>Idea of fun in life
>How to make better use of commute time
>My philosophy on life
>What are the courses I want to do?
>How can I improve my life?
>What makes me happy?
>What will I do if money was not a criterion?
>My ideal home

What happens if you do this?

You will improve as a person
  • You will have a database about yourself
  • You know what you lack which helps you in improving yourself faster
  • You will know how to present yourself when you are with new people
  • You can attract people 
  • You will be more stable in a relationship because you are already clear on your priorities
You will be self-aware
  • Self-awareness reduces the chaos in life
  • Your emotions will be more stable because you are aware of the reasons behind them. Usually, you get angry because you feel injustice when unfair incidents occur. But when you know for what incidents you feel injustice, you can avoid being angry
  • Your life will be under your control. You know what you like and what you don’t. You will not let others hurt you because you are already self- aware.
You will be smarter
  • You will be able to generate 10 points on anything in a very short time. 
  • Your articulation and writing skills will improve

How to do this?

Step 1: On day 1, write 10 things which you want to discover about yourself
Step 2: For the next 10 days write 10 points on each of them
Step 3: Repeat the cycle

    Where to write?

    Option 1:
    If you are conversant with excel, use this link for maintaining your database.
    Option 2:
    You c
    an use an Evernoteaccount. Create a notebook exclusively for this and add a new note in it each day.

    What to do next?

    • As a follow-up to this exercise, write one thing which summarizes the ten points
    • Reorder your 10 points based on priority
    • Revise the list and add points as and when you realize something new about yourself
    • For new prompts, drill down into the points you have already written. If you have written eating chocolate makes you happy, write the top ten chocolates which make you happy
    Comment below what your first few prompts are.
    Happy discovering yourself!

    The one thing which is stopping you from achieving your dreams

    Riya: “I want to open my painting gallery.”
    Suma: “That’s great! When are you doing it?”
    Riya: “”
    Suma: “What are you thinking?”
    Riya: “I don’t know when?”
    Are you like Riya?
    Why are you not pursuing your dreams?
    I am sorry to ask you this question in the beginning of the post. Let’s keep that aside for now and have some fun.
    Wanna do an interesting experiment today?
    Ask 10 friends (not so close) of yours why they are not pursuing their dreams.
    Their responses will be one among the below:
    “I was brought up this way. No one in my family ever did something unconventional. We are comfortable and happy with what we do for living”
    “You know how many responsibilities I have right! I have to pay all the bills, run the family. From where do I find time for my dreams?”
    “I need to earn a million before I start a business”
    “I am too old for it. I should have started it when I was young.”
    “I am too young to get serious about life. Let me enjoy my youth”
    “I don’t know what my passion is”
    “I am still figuring out the right way to do it”
    Do you think those are the real reasons why they are not pursuing their dreams?
    No one will tell you the truth. All these are just excuses to cover up the reality.
    It is not their fault either. Because they believe whatever they say to be the truth.
    But the true reason is
    They are afraid of the failure.
    They are afraid of how people perceive them.
    They are afraid of going broke.
    They are afraid of the unknown.
    That is the sole reason why they are not taking that step.
    Are you like your friends? Do you feel the fear inside you? If you are numb, you will never even realise that you need to take action. Let out the fear now. It is okay to be afraid. 
    Fear is natural. It is a human instinct. Brain produces fear to protect you. If not for fear, you can’t protect yourself from legitimate danger. But the fear in this case, is the fear of unknown. The fear can be overcome by learning about the unknown. You need to know what it takes to reach your goal. If you are reluctant to explore, you will never see a life beyond this. To reach somewhere where you have not been to before, you have to do something which you have never done before.
    Move out of your comfort zone. It’s a cliché. But that is what is going to make the difference. Because your fears are irrational. 
    If any of our fears is rational, then it means that you are taking high risk. I am not advocating high risk here. Just move out of that boundary you confined yourself in. 
    Take one step ahead. Take 5 minutes out now and think about your dream. What is the smallest thing you can do every day which will move you a step closer to your dream? Isn’t it simple? If it doesn’t look simple, you are not thinking about the smallest step.
    If you still feel the fear, validate your dreams. Research on the obvious pitfalls. Avoid them and move ahead.Experience how beautiful life is when you take a step towards your dream.
    Don’t be afraid in pursuing your dreams unless you are doing something unethical. As long as what you are fighting for is for the good, move only forward. If you look backward, you will only be scared of falling down.
    Whenever I am afraid in taking the next step in life, my mom and I have this conversation.
    Mom: “What is the worst that is going to happen?
    I:  “I will fail. I don’t want to fail.”
    Mom: “How will you ever know that you will succeed or not without trying it?
    I: “I am afraid of the unknown.”
    Mom: “How will you  ever know the unknown and become wise if you avoid opportunities to learn?
    I: “ Hmm…Yeah… True. I will try and see. I have nothing to lose. I only gain. I get an experience.”
    I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. -Nelson Mandela
    Do this small exercise now. Save the below link in your google drive and start combating your fears.


    Go to this link.


    Click on the google drive button and to save it to your google drive. 
    Now start filling in your fears and ways you will combat it.

    People can get you all the resources to achieve your dreams but they can’t fight your fears for you. You have to fight your own battle. The only thing which keeps you strong in the times of obstacles is confidence in yourself.
    Your brain will keep tricking you into fear. It is doing its duty. Don’t succumb to it. Fight them. Be a warrior, not a loser.
    According to the Darwinian theory of natural selection, the strongest of the species survives. Don’t you want your fearless genes to be passed on to the next generations?


    What is stopping you from pursuing your dreams? How did you combat your fears? Let us know through comments section. I am waiting to hear them out.
    Happy combating your fears !

    Recipe for making resolutions come true

    Image result for plan
    It’s April already! Three months have passed in the new year. In the beginning of the year, I did not have any new year resolutions. Because too many resolutions for an entire year is just overwhelming. Hence I started off with monthly resolutions. I could not stick to them due to various unforeseen situations. I fell off the stairs and hurt myself. I was not able to exercise because of it. I don’t have a park or lot of trees in my area so I go for running along the beach. But on the days I wake up late, I have to inhale the smoke from the vehicles on the road. It took a toll on my health and developed acute dust allergy. So I had to drop running too. Reading newspaper was one of my goals. But I did not find any immediate benefits from it. So had to drop that idea. I started cooking in February, but then I was falling short of time in the morning to cook. It has been 45 days that I have done a piece of art since I had a new assignment to do. So my first three months are gone without accomplishing anything significant. 

    You must also have had a lot of plans which went down the drain. It’s never too late. I want to be efficient in the coming months.I rewrote my monthly plans to make them more useful. Work along with me. I will make you achieve your dreams too. 

    The following is my plan for the April:

    Waking up early: 

    I commute 3 hours daily. I feel tired by the time I reach home. The key to doing anything at all is waking up early. I don’t want to set any lofty goals for waking up early. All I want to do is wake up at 6 consistently. This is a definitely doable goal. This a keystone habit for the rest of the habits I want to develop.

    Physical fitness:

    I have been stuck at 20 push-ups since a very long time. My body is now used to this. So there is no growth. Habits are good, but when there is no improvement in the habit, it means they are almost dead. I want to push myself to 25 pushups to experience the growth.

    My knee has not totally healed yet. It hurts when I put pressure on it. So I wanted to do a few new exercises which can be done without hurting the knee.


    I sit only for 10 minutes everyday for meditation. Those 10 minutes are also not totally distraction free. I want to increase it by 5 minutes and do 15 minutes meditation exercise daily.



     I have started reading a lot of books in the March but did not complete even one. The amount of time I have spent on reading books has reduced. I want to set pages target of 20 for everyday. It takes me around 30 minutes to read 20 pages. It might be a little difficult to do it but it is still worth the try.


    For the first t
    hree months of the year, I wanted to write 8 articles per month. I could not reach this target. Because I had a monthly target but no daily habits around it. I will spend 20 minutes in gathering the idea on the first day and for writing on the second day and editing and publishing on the third day. Even if I take breaks on a few days, I should be able to publish 8 articles in the next month. Another obstacle I have been facing is a lack of topics to write on. I will make a list of 12 topics on which I can write so that I don’t waste time in thinking what to write on.


    I have enrolled for I will spend 15 minutes everyday to learn a lesson from this course.

    Action points:

    >Write down the 12 topics
    >Search for the new exercises

    The routine I want to establish for April takes: 

    Activity Time (minutes)
    Exercise 30
    Meditation 15
    Reading 40
    Writing 20
    Course 20

    On the whole, it is going to take 2 hours. And extra time is one hour. I can definitely find an extra hour in my day to fit this routine.

    What is your plan for the April?

    ~What is the one thing if you change will set the other dreams rolling? Waking up early? Giving up watching TV? What is it for you?
    ~ In what areas have you become stagnant in life? How can you improve it in the smallest possible way?
    ~ Any hobby which has been on mind for too long? Just start it off in the smallest possible way this month.

    Take the help of this worksheet for it. Fill the prompts. Track your goals.

    Comment on your plans and progress in the comments section.

    Happy monthly planning!