The One Thing Book Review

The One Thing Gary Keller Jay Papasan

The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

I’m listening to a great audiobook at the moment called The One Thing, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, which I really  recommend to anyone wanting to get clearer on their goals.

I think it’s essential reading or listening, especially if you are working online, where distraction is the biggest enemy to success, and the biggest cause of failure.

Here’s my quick video review:


So What is Your One Thing?

The aim of the book is to help the listener (or reader) to gain absolute clarity and focus by identifying the one thing that matters most to them.

What’s interesting is that the book, completely demolishes a number of widely accepted ideas about success. For example the idea that people are good at multitasking.

“Multi-tasking is a scam!” the book says.

We tend to think multi-tasking is a skill to aspire to but this is really an illusion. What we need is F.O.C.U.S to succeed.

In fact scientists have studied the way the brain processes information and shown that it is impossible to focus on two important tasks at the same time.

Instead of multi-tasking the book strongly advocates for finding the one thing that is most important in any given situation, moment or lifetime and doing that.

For example

  • What is the one thing do you really need to do this week?
  • What is the one thing you really need to do today?
  • One is the one passion you really have?
  • What one thing would greatly improve my relationship?
  • What one thing would greatly improve my finances?

Focus on that one thing and all other actions will flow in the right direct.

It is shown time and time again that it is just a hand full of actions that bring the greatest results. It’s called Paretos principle. The 20% of actions that bring about 80% of all results.

When a company can identify its One thing then it goes on to achieve success much quicker.

You just have to look at the way Apple computers became very successful when it focused everything on producing the one stand out product ie the Mac – then the imac then the ipod, and then the ipad etc

The quicker you can identify YOUR one thing the quicker you are to finding your way through the maze of endless decisions and choices.

You will never be confused as to what is your next step in life.

Cut Through Your To-do list by Finding Your One Thing

This rings through to me in so many ways.

It is so easy to get caught up in a blizzard of to do lists which never bring us closer to achieving that ring of deep satisfaction in our life, or lift us beyond the ordinary.

I’m totally convinced that the more I focus on really identifying the main thing that drives me the greater success I will have. It all starts from their.

So Is the one question you need to ask yourself:

The one thing question

This is the most focused way of thinking that will stop you getting caught up in fads and distracted by shiny objects

The Myth of a Disciplined Life

A lot of people think that to be a successful person you need to be highly disciplined. The One Thing says that this is another myth,

What is really necessary  is to develop habits for successful action, So actually we only need a bit of discipline in order to develop positive habits

No one is really disciplined and controlled all the time. – that would be really boring!!

So remember you don’t need discipline you just need to choose the right things to focus on and create the right habits.

 “Success is about doing the right thing not about doing everything right”

Good habits make the hard stuff easy.

So how long does it take to establish a new habit?

University College London made a study and showed that 66 days was the average to create the right habits which is longer than the 28 days that a lot of personal development says.

Be a person of powerful habits!

Use SELECTIVE discipline!


The Myth of a Balanced life

Ever since we have had more leisure time people have become more obsessed by the work life balance.

What the book says though is that a balanced life is another myth. No life can be truly balances ALL the TIME.

Sure we should work all the time, just the same as being on holiday all the time would loose its fun eventually.

Instead what the book rightly proclaims is that Purpose meaning significance is what we truly need

The more we seek balance the more elusive it becomes

The One Thing to Remember

So if you are ever at a loss as to what step to make next, just remember the one focusing question that will clear away all clutter and get to the root of things:

“What’s the one thing I can do now that makes everything else easier or unnecessary”


Buy The One Thing On Amazon 

About Kareim Jamal

Online marketing addict, father of an amazing son, husband to a dynamic beautiful woman, culinary wizard, budding entrepreneur, lover of fine music.

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