REVIEW: The One Thing: The surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results

REVIEW: The One Thing: The surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results

The One Thing

What is the One Thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

– Gary Keller

  • Book Title: The One Thing
  • Author: Gary Keller, Jay Papasan
  • Publisher: Bard Press
  • Pages: 240
  • Price: $13.97 on

The One Thing, an extraordinary book by all means, is Gary Keller and Jay Papasan’s best selling book. A masterpiece that is going to change the way you look at productivity and how to achieve it for good.

Life-changing rather than inspirational, this book might just be the key to success you found without looking for it. It is going to unlock and unravel the secret which will make you focus on what is important.

The core concept of the The One Thing

The One Thing provides guidelines to success, which you can apply in any aspect of life. The whole concept of The One Thing revolves around several interconnected theories that seem so obvious once you have made it to the end of the book. While the first part might make you think you already know everything mentioned, you’ll by the end of the book realize an easier path to achieving your one thing.

To a great extend the One Thing is the most important thing you should focus on, disregard what you could do and do what you should do. If you ask yourself how, there is an answer to that question as well. Gary Keller stresses on the fact that you should identify your one thing in all aspects of life – and then nurture it, give it the needed time and attention, do it with compassion every day for as long as you have to, and learn how to tackle the obstacles that stop you from doing your one thing. Almost like a religion the One Thing would be a driving force that will bring balance and purpose to your life, which on the other hand will result in happiness and life satisfaction.

The second part of the book is dedicated to identifying your one thing and “doing things the right way”.
The minor contradiction in the chapter Big is bad” can be looked at from different angles. This is another foundation to achieve your one thing. Think big and set higher goals than you think you can achieve – as we know success hides outside of the comfort zone. Then ask yourself the core question:

“What is the One Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

By itself this question is most likely not going to help at all, but remember the domino effect, use it and change the time, Gary suggests. Narrow down your question and change the time – e.g.  “What is the one thing I can do such, that by doing it in 5 years everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” What about this year? This month? This week? Today? And right now?

By applying willpower and discipline, keeping a balanced life, being specific and purposeful you will reach eternal happiness. And while Gary has made utilizing the One Thing as a driving force in life seem so easy, something is missing. During the last three parts a few questions have been buzzing in my mind.

What if I don’t acheive my One Thing?

The last chapter, The 4 thieves”, (which are as essential as the One Thing itself), answers my questions.

  • What do I do if I don’t succeed or can’t find my One Thing?
  • And even worse, what is going to happen to the rest of my responsibilities if I spend so much time and energy on the one thing? – Obviously chaos.

Which is why Gary advices you to not be afraid of failure. Do not be afraid to say “No”. And do not be afraid of chaos – it is going to happen inevitably (if it isn’t happening anyway).

Keep a healthy life, eat well, sleep well and exercise, keep your energy up, meditate if you should.

And last but not least, your environment does not want to help you, and basically everything and everyone in life will try to prevent you from doing and achieving your one thing. Setting your priorities and being able to say “no” when you have no time and energy will only result in your higher productivity.

Everything will fall into place once you start collecting the fruits of your carefully grown One Thing.

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