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.
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
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 !