The One Thing
The premise behind this brilliant book by Gary Keller is that in order to find big success, you need to “go small,” and narrow your focus and concentration on doing The One Thing.
If everyone has the same hours in a day, why is it that some people get so much more done than others? These same people that seem to get more done are also achieving more, earning more, and have more. The answer is simple: they go small. These people recognize that not all things matter equally and they strive to find what matters most and they do it.
Not long ago I left a job and was struggling with my purpose and where to go next. My very wise friend told me to start by writing down a list of everything I wanted to do and everything I was good at in one column on a piece of paper. Then in a column right next to it, write down everything that I thought I needed to work on, things I thought I should be doing, or needed to improve upon. I put a lot of thought into both sides of my list - although of course some things I was able to write down quickly.
I showed my friend my list the next day. She took a black marker and crossed out everything in the column that I needed to work on, improve or thought I should be doing. She said to me, “Why are you wasting your time working on those things that don’t come naturally to you? Focus on the things in the first column that you are good at and work from there.
What a concept.
From the list on the side I was able to narrow my focus - what was the one thing that I wanted to do in my career and what was the one thing (the most important thing) I had to focus on to get there.
This concept of doing the One Thing trickles down to everything you do and it adds up over time to success. Keller quotes Og Mandino in his book, “It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world.” So you do the one right thing, then you do the next right thing and over time, you move forward - toward the highest success possible.
The book is a very easy read, yet full of information. At the end of each chapter, Keller posts “Big Ideas” which highlight the chapter’s lessons and set you up for the content in the next chapter. I enjoyed how Keller illustrates his ideas throughout the book and provided real-life examples of situations to highlight the concepts as well.
If you are struggling with moving forward in your life, the ONE THING you need to do is pick up a copy of this book!