What I’ve learned While Reading The ONE Thing (Book by Garry W. Keller & Jay Papasan)

(Last Updated On: 21 February 2021)

The biggest challenge we face during our lifetimes, more than any other generation across history, is information overload. And if don’t take control of what’s coming at us, information and input coming from all the possible places (from TV to Netflix to Twitter to Instagram), it will take control of us. It will own us and it will run our lives and make us feel miserable.

This is a book that had been recommended to me by a fellow writer and blogger. The ONE thing focuses on the finding that one and only thing that matters the most in your journey towards your goals, and what you need to do to make reserved or “blocked” time for that thing and protect that block with all you got.

Here are the top X things and principles I learned while reading the book:

Go as Small as Possible:

No matter how big your goal or how success conscious are you, or where you want to be, you will have to start small (and often very small) if you really want to get there.

Many people think that going for a big target also means or implies starting to shoot for the moon fresh from the start. That is false, and can only get you to give up so soon. Reduce it to its childish terms/components and it becomes simple, measurable, and attainable.

Your job is to find ONE thing and one only such that by doing it, everything else becomes easier, unnecessary, or obsolete.

Then, you commit to al least 4 hours each day to doing that One thing.

Until my ONE thing is done—everything else is a distraction!

The ONE thing

The Domino Effect:

The Domino Effect, “Leveraged Action that Will Start a Domino Run”

By starting to do our ONE thing, we begin to line up your dominoes. We line up enough of them over the years, and we enjoy the benefits of The Domino Effect.

At its core, it is a geometric progression. And it very much resembles a very long train: “it starts out too slow to notice, until it’s moving too fast to stop”.

=> Success, by the domino logic, is built sequentially (one THING at a time)

Success Leaves Clues:

The misinformation, myths, and lies keeping us from embracing and accepting the fact we only need ONE THING. These are false claims thrown at us over and over again, start to become familiar and start to sound like they are true.

Beware of the six thrown lies that will be thrown at you time and time again. They will keep you poor, unfocused, and miserable.

Beware of the six thrown lies that will be thrown at you time and time again. They will keep you poor, unfocused, and miserable—here they are the six lies:

  • Everything Matters Equally
  • Multitasking
  • A Disciplined Life
  • Willpower is always on Will-Call
  • A Balanced Life
  • Big Is Bad

Don’t spread yourself too thin!

Someone may be telling you that everything matters equally, and that you never know what could turn out the thing that matters the most and that, that’s why, you should hedge your bets.

Well, if that’s the case and you still don’t know what your ONE thing is, then and as the author tells us, your ONE thing at the moment is to find that ONE thing.

Counter-attack tips from the author:

  • Have Time Blocked each day for your ONE thing
  • Build a Bunker
  • Never leave it (while working) except for the bathroom
  • Protect Your Time Blocks
  • Assign at least 4 hours each day to doing your ONE thing

The Three Commitments:

The Three Commitments

the journey of the successful lifelong learning is never over

  1. Follow the Path of Mastery:
    Try to perceive mastery as a path instead of a destination you’ll arrive at. Remember that ‘mastery’ is a way of thinking and a journey that has no end. It doesn’t matter what you are trying to master, whether it is mastering the guitar, or mastering the stock market, or even mastering mastery the science of learning itself, IT WILL TAKE TIME, IT IS A JOURNEY.
  2. Move from ‘E’ to ‘P’:
    E stands for Entrepreneurial, and P stands for Purposeful. E is doing thing with energy, curiosity, excitement and enthusiasm.

    ‘E’ will lead you to Disappointment => Resignation => Greener Pastures => The Cycle Continues

    P is doing whatever it takes to get to certain level or point.
    And it will lead you to Focus => Models =>Systems => Breakthroughs
    Do not accept plateaus just because it is something you think it is beyond your natural ability. That creates an artificial limit on your future potential & possibilities in life.
  3. Live the Accountability Cycle:
    The contrast here is: Accountable vs Victim
    This is the most important of among the three commitments.
    With this, you’ll absorb the ceilings you’ll encounter and you will keep going.

=> Don’t fight reality or ignore it. Work around it.

The Four Thieves:

The Four Thieves. ‘It’s not a relief, it’s a thief!’

Invitations and interruptions will come at you from everywhere imaginable.

  • Your Inability to day ‘NO’: This is why the author advises to build our own bunker, have blocked time, and protect it by never leaving the bunker or letting anyone or anything interrupt us while doing our ONE thing.
  • Fear of Chaos: Messes are inevitable on your way to success and big results.
  • Poor Health Habits: Your body is the vehicle that carries you through experiencing life. Don’t delude yourself by pretending you can go four days without sleep or one day on one meal and that you can get away with it. Your health is like a credit card: borrow now, pay later with interest. Take care of your health!
  • Environment Doesn’t Support Your Goals: This is the most challenging obstacle to overcome. I know really, because I come from such an environment. It works like a bucket of crabs, with you being the one crab that is about to escape, so everyone else down there starts to pull you back down.

Your environment is simply who you see and what you experience every day.

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