the one thing

The One Thing summary

The ONE Thing

Keller says that to taste huge success, narrow your concentration to one thing, and where your success varied, the focus had too. Always approach a “go small” strategy to succeed at anything you want.
The author emphasizes on the fact that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus. You need to focus on doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects.

The Domino Effect

A domino effect can lead to extraordinary results in your life. Success is built sequentially. It’s one thing at a time. Success Leaves Clues.
No one is self-made and no one succeeds alone. The one thing is the fundamental truth in the lives of successful people.
According to the author the Six Lies between You and Success are:
1. Everything Matters Equally
2. Multitasking
3. A Disciplined Life
4. Willpower Is Always on Will-Call
5. A Balanced Life
6. Big Is Bad

Everything Matters Equally

“The things which are most important don’t always scream the loudest.” – Bob Hawke

We prioritize everything uniformly in urgent circumstances. As a result, we respond accordingly. But that doesn’t bridge the gap between you and success. However, achievers always effectively prioritize their tasks.
Most to-do lists are survival lists—getting you through your day and your life, but not making each day a stepping-stone for the next so that you sequentially build a successful life. Instead you should focus on a success list that is deliberately created to achieve extraordinary results. If your to do list contains everything under the umbrella then it will divert you from your one thing.
You can start with as large a list as you want, but develop the mindset that you will eliminate the redundant tasks and end with the essential one.
There will always be just a few things that matter more than the rest, and out of those, one will matter most. Doing the most important thing should always be the priority.


Multitasking is a lie because you either can’t or won’t do either well. 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. While multitasking switching between tasks deteriorate the focus level. Secondly, you have to activate the “rules” for whatever you’re about to do. Thus you can’t focus effectively on more than one task at once.
According to some research estimates workers are interrupted every 11 minutes and then spend almost a third of their day recovering from these distractions. Researchers further added that we lose 28 percent of an average workday due to multitasking.

A Disciplined Life

Discipline in your lifestyle is essentially training yourself to act in a particular way.
But you can become successful with less discipline than you think because success is about doing the right thing, not about doing everything right. So you should devote your energy and discipline to that one task only. Doing right things, can liberate from monitoring unnecessary things in life. Those with the right habits seem to do better than others just by maintaining the required discipline in one thing.

Willpower Is Always on Call

Willpower is always on will-call is a lie. Crediting willpower for the success we observe should not mislead you.
So, if you want to get the most out of your day, do your most important work—your one thing before your willpower is drawn down.

A Balanced Life

A balanced life is a lie. Gambling with your time may result into non recoverable losses.
Expecting all things done in life is foolishness. When the things that matter most get done, you’ll still be left with a sense of imbalance. So it is wise to choose the most important things in life and dedicate all time and energy to it.

Big Is Bad

Big is bad is a lie.
No one knows their limit for achievement. So, it is not worth to worry about this. Your actions today determine your future.
We over think, over plan, and over-analyze our careers, our businesses, and our lives; that long hours are neither virtuous nor healthy; and that we usually succeed in spite of most of what we do, not because of it. We can’t manage time. The key to success isn’t in all the things we do but in the handful of things we do well.
If you can honestly say, “This is where I’m meant to be, doing exactly what I’m doing,” then all the amazing possibilities for your life become possible.

The Focusing Question

Voltaire once said, “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.”
Quality of an answer is directly determined by the quality of the respective question asked. If you ask the right question, you get the right answer, but wrong question will result into wrong answer. If you ask the most powerful question, the answer can be life-changing.
The Focusing Question can lead you to answer not only “big picture” questions like Where am I going ? What target should I aim for? But also “small focus” ones as well like What must I do right now to be on the path to getting the big picture? Where’s the bulls-eye?.
Therefore, our choices and actions determine the extraordinary results in life.

The Path to Great Answers

Extraordinary results require a Great Answer. Most satisfying answer always reside outside your comfort zone.
When moving toward a goal, the first thing to do is ask, “Has anyone else studied or accomplished this or something like it?” The research and experience of others is the best place to start when looking for your answer. A simple formula for implementing the one thing and achieving extraordinary results is to set a purpose, priority, and productivity.

Live with Purpose

Once we get what we want, our happiness sooner or later diminishes because we quickly become accustomed to what we have acquired.
Happiness happens on the way to fulfillment. Dr. Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association, asserted that there are five factors that contribute to our happiness. These are- positive emotion and pleasure, achievement, relationships, engagement, and meaning.
Financially wealthy means having a purpose for your life. Happiness happens when you have a bigger purpose than having more fulfills, which is why it is said happiness happens on the way to fulfillment.

Live by Priority

Purpose without priority is powerless. The truth about success is that farther away a reward is in the future, the smaller the immediate motivation to achieve it. Connect today to all your tomorrows. Breaking a big goal down into the steps needed to achieve it helps in planning better to achieve extraordinary results. This requires visualizing the process thoroughly.
In one study, those who wrote down their goals were 39.5 percent more likely to accomplish them.

Live for Productivity

Productive action transforms lives. The most successful people are the most productive people. To enhance your productivity, devote your time proportionately.
Three things of time block to achieve extraordinary results are:
1. Time block your time off
2. Time block your ONE Thing
3. Time block your planning time
The most productive people design their days around doing their ONE Thing. Block time as early in your day as soon possible. The author suggests blocking four hours a day.

The Three Commitments

To achieve extraordinary results you require three commitments. First, is to seek mastery. Second, is to pursue best ways of doing things. Last, is the attitude of being accountable for everything you do to achieve your ONE Thing.
The path of mastering is the combination of not only doing the best you can do, but also doing it in the best possible way.

Anders Ericsson observed that “the single most important difference between these amateurs and the three groups of elite performers is that the future elite performers seek out teachers and coaches and engage in supervised training, whereas the amateurs rarely engage in similar types of practice.”

The Four Thieves

The Four Thieves of Productivity according to the author are:
1. Inability to Say “No”
2. Fear of Chaos
3. Poor Health Habits
4. Environment Doesn’t Support Your Goals
The way to protect what you’ve said yes to and stay productive is to say no to anyone or anything that could derail you. When you say yes to something, it’s imperative that you understand what you’re saying no to.
You can’t please everyone under the sun, so don’t try. Rather you should focus on adequate management of your personal energy so as to sustain the productivity. High achievement and extraordinary results require big energy.

The Highly Productive Person’s Daily Energy Plan include:
1. For spiritual energy: Meditation and pray.
2. For physical energy: Eat Healthy, exercise, and have a sufficient sleep.
3. Emotional energy: Hug, enjoy, and laugh with loved ones.
4. Mental energy: Set goals, plan, and calendar
5. Business energy: Time block your ONE Thing.
The people surrounding you must support your goals because no one succeeds alone and no one fails alone. Pay attention to the people around you.
When you clear the path to success—that’s when you consistently get there. When you know what matters most, everything makes sense but when you don’t know what matters most, nothing makes sense.

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