The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

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The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan
​Every chapter ends with a summary of the big ideas. Big up Charles Poliquin for the recommendation. The main point of the book which you should ask for everything is ‘What’s the ONE THING I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?’. I thought just focusing on one thing was too simple or would be easy but it takes conscious practice.

“Be like a postage stamp— stick to one thing until you get there” Josh Billings

Where I’d had huge success, I had narrowed my concentration to one thing, and where my success varied, my focus had too.

Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.

When one thing, the right thing, is set in motion, it can topple many things. (Example of small domino find front on consecutive bigger ones.

The ONE Thing becomes difficult because we’ve unfortunately bought into too many others—and more often than not those “other things” muddle our thinking, misguide our actions, and sidetrack our success. The real solutions we seek are almost always hiding in plain sight; unfortunately, they’ve usually been obscured by an unbelievable amount of bunk, an astounding flood of “common sense” that turns out to be nonsense.

Frog hot water, fish smelling from head down and burning ships stories are examples of non-truthiness. Repeat a lie long enough it starts sounding like truth.

Everything Matters Equally
A Disciplined Life
Willpower Is Always on Will-Call
A Balanced Life
Big Is Bad

While to-dos serve as a useful collection of our best intentions, they also tyrannize us with trivial, unimportant stuff that we feel obligated to get done—because it’s on our list. You don’t need a to do list you need a success list. Paretos principle/Jurans rule … 80:20 so from a to-do list, prioritise and it becomes a success list. And then ‘extreme Pareto’ it by narrowing down to just 1.

Multitasking is about multiple tasks alternately sharing one resource (the CPU), but in time the context was flipped and it became interpreted to mean multiple tasks being done simultaneously by one resource (a person). It was a clever turn of phrase that’s misleading, for even computers can process only one piece of code at a time.

It’s not that we have too little time to do all the things we need to do, it’s that we feel the need to do too many things in the time we have

Switching between two simple tasks—like watching television and folding clothes—is quick and relatively painless. However, if you’re working on a spreadsheet and a co-worker pops into your office to discuss a business problem, the relative complexity of those tasks makes it impossible to easily jump back and forth. It always takes some time to start a new task and restart the one you quit, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever pick up exactly where you left off. There is a price for this. (Something I kept telling a manager!)

If you were trying to talk a passenger through landing a DC-10, you’d stop walking. Likewise, if you were walking across a gorge on a rope bridge, you’d likely stop talking.

Researchers estimate we lose 28 percent of an average workday to multitasking ineffectiveness.

Once a new behavior becomes a habit, it takes less discipline to maintain.

The results suggest that it takes an average of 66 days to acquire a new habit. The full range was 18 to 254

Implementing new behaviours
Filtering distractions
Resisting temptation
Suppressing emotion
Restraining aggression
Suppressing impulses
Taking tests
Trying to impress others
Coping with fear
Doing something you don’t enjoy
Selecting long-term over short-term rewards
More on willpower in this posts – Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength by Roy F. Baumeister & John Tierney

A balanced life is a lie, it doesn’t exist. Focusing on one means others will be neglected. Instead of balance, counterbalance. Like balancing 2 buckets.

When you’re supposed to be working, work, and when you’re supposed to be playing, play. It’s a weird tightrope you’re walking, but it’s only when you get your priorities mixed up that things fall apart.

“We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.”
—Robert Brault

What’s the ONE THING I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

Think big and specific e.g. How can I double sales in 6 months.

There is a natural rhythm to our lives that becomes a simple formula for implementing the ONE Thing and achieving extraordinary results: purpose, priority, and productivity. Bound together, these three are forever connected and continually confirming each other’s existence in our lives. Their link leads to the two areas where you’ll apply the ONE Thing—one big and one small. Your big ONE Thing is your purpose and your small ONE Thing is the priority you take action on to achieve it. The most productive people start with purpose and use it like a compass. They allow purpose to be the guiding force in determining the priority that drives their actions.

Those in one group were told to visualize the outcome (like getting an “A” on an exam) and the others were asked to visualize the process needed to achieve a desired outcome (like all of the study sessions needed to earn that “A” on the exam). In the end, students who visualized the process performed better across the board—they studied earlier and more frequently and earned higher grades than those who simply visualized the outcome.

4 proven ways to battle distractions and keep your eye on your ONE Thing.
Build a bunker.
Store provisions.
Sweep for mines.
Enlist support.

Research that individuals with written goals were 39.5 percent more likely to succeed. But there’s more to the story. Individuals who wrote their goals and sent progress reports to friends were 76.7 percent more likely to achieve them. As effective as writing down your goals can be, simply sharing your progress toward your goals with someone regularly even just a friend, makes you almost twice as effective.

Inability to Say “No”
Fear of Chaos
Poor Health Habits
Environment Doesn’t Support Your Goals

1. The ONE Thing
2. The Domino Effect
3. Success Leaves Clues

4. Everything Matters Equally
5. Multitasking
6. A Disciplined Life
7. Willpower Is Always on Will-Call
8. A Balanced Life
9. Big Is Bad

10. The Focusing Question
11. The Success Habit
12. The Path to Great Answers

13. Live with Purpose
14. Live by Priority
15. Live for Productivity
16. The Three Commitments
17. The Four Thieves
18. The Journey

Putting The ONE Thing to Work
On the Research
About the Authors