The One Thing by Gary Keller

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

The one thing is the best approach to getting what you want. 

“What’s the ONE thing you can do this week such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?”

If everyone has the same number of hours in a day, why do some people seem to get so much more done than others? How do they do more, achieve more, earn more, have more? If time is the currency of achievement, then why are some able to cash in their allotment for more chips than others? 

The answer is they go small. 

“Going small” is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do. It’s recognizing that not all things matter equally and finding the things that matter most. Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.

When you go as small as possible, you’ll be staring at one thing. 

Getting extraordinary results

When you think about success, shoot for the moon. The moon is reachable if you prioritize everything and put all of your energy into accomplishing the most important thing. Getting extraordinary results is all about creating a domino effect in your life? 

The challenge is that life doesn’t line everything up for us and say

“Here’s where you should start.” 

Highly successful people know this. Every day they line up their priorities anew, find the lead domino, and whack away at it until it falls. 

Extraordinary success is sequential, not simultaneous. What starts out linear becomes generic. You do the right thing and then you do the next right thing. Over time it adds up, and the geometric potential of success is unleashed. 

Success builds on success.

  • When you see someone who has a lot of knowledge, they learned it over time.
  • When you see someone who has a lot of skills, they developed them over time.
  • When you see someone who has done a lot, they accomplished it over time.
  • When you see someone who has a lot of money, they earned it over time. 

The key is over time. Success is built sequentially. It’s one thing at a time. 

Success leaves clues 

“It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world” – Og Mandino

Extraordinary successful companies always have done the product or service they’re most known for or that makes them the most money. 

The answer isn’t always clear, but that doesn’t make finding it any less important.

The most successful companies know this and are always asking:

“What’s our ONE thing?”

When you get ONE thing, you begin to see the business world differently. If today your company doesn’t know what it’s ONE thing is, then the company’s ONE thing is to find out. 

“There can be only one most important thing. Many things may be important, but only one can be the most important” – Ross Garber. 

One person 

The ONE thing is a dominant theme that shows up in different ways. Take the concept and apply it to people, and you’ll see where one person makes all the difference. 

No one is self – made. 

Everyone has one person who either means the most to them or was the first to influence, train, or manage them. 

No one succeeds alone. No one. 

One passion, one skill

We each have passions and skills, but you’ll see extraordinarily successful people with one intense emotion or one learned ability that shines through, defining them or driving them more than anything else. 

“You must be single – minded. Drive for the one thing on which you have decided.” – General George S. Patton.

Passion for something leads to disproportionate time practicing or working or it. That time spent eventually translates to skill, and when skill improves, results improve. Better results generally lead to more enjoyment, and more passion and more time is invested. It can be a virtuous cycle all the way to extraordinary results. 

Where to begin? From all that life has to offer, how do you choose? How do you make the best decisions possible, experience life at an extraordinary level and never look back? 

Live the ONE thing. 

The ONE thing sits at the heart of success and is the starting point for achieving extraordinary results. 

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