The ONE Thing is one of my favorite books that I have read in the past few years. In fact, I like it so much that this is the 4th time I have read it in the past two years. What I love about it so much is that each time I read it there are new ways that it challenges me, and pushes me to get better & get more focused on doing my “one thing.” Much like the other books I have read from the authors (The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, and SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times), this book is easy to read and very interesting.
The ONE Thing was written by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. Gary Keller is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Keller Williams Realty. He is considered one of the most influential people in the real estate industry, and has lead his company to an astounding 30 consecutive years of growth and profitability. His Co-author, Jay Papasan, first teamed up with Gary to write The Millionaire Real Estate Series, but also runs a successful real estate team in Austin, Texas. Before working with Gary Keller, Jay worked at an editor at Harper Collins publishers.
Each of these authors has achieved great levels of success, and in this book they share many great lessons about being successful in both life and business. I don’t know about you, but when someone who has achieved as much as they have, are willing to share what has worked for them, I like to listen. Success leaves clues, and I believe that implementing things that have worked for others is one of the best ways to make improvements in your life.
The 6 Lessons of the ONE Thing
- Equality is a Lie. Have you ever heard of the 80/20 Principal? It is a theory that 80% of your results come from 20% of your inputs. 80% of your income come from 20% of your clients. 80% of your problems come from 20% of your customers. And so on. In The ONE Thing the authors talk about how this applies to your life. Not all work is equal. According to the authors, high achievers are good at figuring out what is in their “20%” and working exclusively on those items. “Achievers do sooner what others prefer to do later.”
- Multitasking is a weakness, not a strength. Many people try to become better at multitasking. In fact many companies even list multitasking as a required (or desired) trait in a candidate when hiring for many positions. But multitasking is a weakness, not a strength that we should strive to develop. Multitasking refers to the ability to switch between two tasks, not to complete two tasks simultaneously like many people believe. The human brain and body are not built for this. You cannot effectively focus on two things at once. Studies used in The ONE Thing show that you can actually lose between 50% and 100% of our time due to the inefficiency of the brain switching between tasks.
- Habits are better than willpower and discipline. Many people think that they need to develop more willpower, or more discipline, to have a more successful life. But according to The ONE Thing we would all be better off developing new habits that support our goals. We all have enough discipline and willpower, we just need to do a better job of directing them in better ways. Developing habits that support our goals make it far easier to use willpower and discipline in the correct ways. According to the authors it takes on average 66 days to develop a habit, so get started with a new habit right away!
- Get focused on the ONE thing. Ask yourself the focusing question from the authors: “What is the ONE thing I can do, such by doing it will make everything else easier or unnecessary?” By narrowing your focus and identifying your “ONE thing” you will be able to achieve far more than you have ever thought possible.
- Purpose, priority, and productivity. The third section of the book covers the idea that we need to live with purpose, live by priority, and live for productivity. What do you want in this life? Once you know where you want to go (purpose), you can figure out what you need to do to get there (priority). And once you know what you need to do to get where you want to go, you can figure out how to take action on these items (productivity).
- Learn to say “no” more often. This is perhaps the hardest lesson of the book for me. By nature I like to please people. Saying no makes me feel like I am letting them down. However, the authors make the point that we need to say no to anything that can derail us from focusing on our “ONE thing,” According to them, “the more things you say yes to, the less successful you will be at each of them.” And it is so true. Focus on the things that are important to you and devote your time to them.
I would highly recommend you pick up this book. It is a fun read filled with lots of great lessons and ideas that you can put into place in your life to begin achieving more right away!