The One Thing Summary

The One Thing by Gary W. Keller and Jay PapasanDo you feel like you are constantly spreading yourself too thin each and every day and not getting things done? That will be a thing of the past when you have read The One Thing by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan. There is a lot that you could do in a day or at the same moment, but you have to choose to focus on one thing at a time. 

You cannot do everything at the same time. Decide on the things that you are not going to do and avoid them altogether. Focus on one thing and go deep in it until it is well done.  

The One Thing summary here will give you a taste of what to expect in the book and some of the priceless teachings presented by the authors.

Chapter 1: THE ONE THING – this chapter introduces the one thing approach and how you can carry it out. To achieve this, you need to answer this question. “What’s The ONE Thing You can do this week such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?” 

When you are able to answer this question accurately, then you have found your essential thing to focus on. You will pay attention to that one thing and neglect all others. 

When you have identified that one thing you need to do, you narrow your focus entirely so that everything else outside of that narrow focus doesn’t matter. 

Chapter 2: THE DOMINO EFFECT – discovering the one crucial thing you need to do can have a domino effect and other things will just topple over when it is done. However, life will not line up things for you and give you a simple way of achieving the domino effect. To get it you have to prioritize your goals each and every day. 

Do the right thing first then do the next right thing and you will have set the domino effect in motion and success will be yours. The domino effect works because success is not a simultaneous event it is a sequential one. 

Chapter 3: SUCCESS LEAVES CLUES – for a business to be successful it has to identify it’s one thing. The business landscape is always changing, and therefore a business that has not defined it’s one thing is bound to fail. After the business has identified the one thing they do, then they should identify the one person who can help them grow. No one is self-made, and businesses rely on people too. 

Everyone has that one person who means the most to them it could be their first influence, the person who coached or trained them. To make it big, you have to avoid the six lies that can drive you in the wrong way. These lies are; everything matters equally, multitasking, a disciplined life, willpower is always on will-call, a balanced life, and big is bad. 

Chapter 4: EVERYTHING MATTERS EQUALLY – equality, when you want to achieve much, is a lie. Everything in life boils down to the choices you make, so you have to make a decision on what is the most important and right thing at that moment. It doesn’t matter how busy you are, it only matters what you are busy doing. 

Instead of having a to-do list have a success list. A to-do list that is not guided by success will take you everywhere but not to success. It is therefore imperative that you choose what is essential as you plan your daily activities. 

Also, make sure to observe the 80/20 rule. In this rule, little cause brings the largest effect. That means you are highly effective. 

Chapter 5: Multitasking – don’t try to do two things at once. Either you will not, or you can’t do one well. 

Chapter 6: A disciplined life – you have all the discipline you need to succeed. You do not need to get more discipline you only have to direct the discipline you have much better. “You can become successful with less discipline than you think, for one simple reason: success is about doing the right thing, not about doing everything right.”

Chapter 7: Willpower is always on will-call – do not set up your success on your willpower without understanding what it really is. Your willpower can run out and leave you stranded. You need to know how to use it for your success. The authors give a list of some of the activities that use up your willpower.

Chapter 8: A balanced life – being extraordinary in what you do requires time. Giving time to one thing means another might suffer. You need to understand this and make it work. Things for you will not happen at the middle but at the extremes. You need to have the patience and persistence to see things to the extreme.

Chapter 9: Big is bad – there is nothing wrong with becoming a huge success. To achieve this, you need to be bold in life and go for things that others are not even looking at. 

Chapter 10: The focusing question – you have to learn to ask yourself the right questions about your life. Remember the answers that you give yourself become your reality. Remember always to ask the focusing question (what you can do now that will make other things unnecessary), so you know what will lead your day. Answering this question will give you a big picture of your life but show you the deep focus you need to get there.

Chapter 11: The success habit – if you want to make success a habit for all aspects of your life then you need to answer the focus questions on all the areas that you want to change and then keep working and focusing one thing at a time. 

Chapter 12: The path to great answers – if you want to achieve big goals then you need to ask yourself the big questions. To get to the goals then you will need to give yourself big specific answers to your questions. 

Chapter 13: live with purpose – when you have a purpose then you know what your priorities are. With your priorities in line then you will be productive to achieve what you are destined for. Without a purpose then anything you do will take you there. 

Chapter 14: live by priority – when you live by purpose you know where you want to go. When you live by priority, you know what to do to get you to your purpose. With priority, you have your today connected to all the tomorrows that you will need to achieve your goals. 

Chapter 15: live for productivity – your success depends not only on doing what matters but also on getting the most out of what you do. That is what productivity is all about. Devote all your time for the day into becoming great, and you will surely get there. You, therefore, need to plan your time properly. 

Chapter 16: The three commitments – to achieve extraordinary results in life, you need to commit yourself to three things; mastery of your craft, seek to do things in the best way and accountability. 

Chapter 17: The four Thieves – this chapter is all about the four thieves of productivity namely; inability to say no, fear of chaos, poor health habits and not being in a supportive environment. 

Chapter 18: The journey – in your journey to success you have to ensure that you fully support yourself because success is an inside job. You should not place limits on what you can achieve. Setting limits on your achievements only limit the fullness of your life. 

What I Like About the Book

The book is well crafted, and you get summary bullet points at the end of each chapter. This makes it easy to understand the concepts. In between the texts that the author has highlighted some of the passages that you might want to keep coming back to. It will definitely get your attention. 

You cannot miss the main point of communication from the author in this book. It makes it easy to scheme through also when you want to refer. The content is profound, and you are sure to come out with a new perspective on how you can achieve your goals.  

Why You Should Read the Book

This book will bring you that much closer to achieving your goals and your dreams. You will be able to focus and perform better on what you do. With increased daily productivity your ultimate goal becomes very easy to attain.

​Next summary: The Power Of Habit

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