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If you have never read the book ‘The ONE Thing’ by Gary Keller, we recommend making it your next read. He does a great job of providing simple, yet insightful information on how to maximize the use of your time and achieve amazing results! Below is an outline of some the biggest, most impactful takeways from the book.

The Domino Effect: small actions done consistently over time accumulate into major outcomes

  • A single domino is capable of bringing down another domino that is actually 50 percent larger
  • The 18th domino would be the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Number 57 would practically span the distance from Earth to the Moon
  • Takeaway: ‘Extraordinary success is sequential, not simultaneous’
Habit Building
  • Build one habit at a time
  • Give each habit enough time: researchers have found that it takes an average of 66 days to acquire a new habit. At first, it takes hard work and focused effort to produce consistent follow through. However, over time it takes less discipline to maintain the habit.
  • Get very good at one thing, then tackle the next challenge. Being mediocre at multiple things leaves you in the same place.
Live by Priority
  • Purpose without priority is powerless
  • Goal Setting to the Now
    • Someday Goal
      • What’s the ONE thing I want to do someday?
    • Five-Year Goal
      • Based on my someday goal, what’s the ONE thing I can do in the next five years?
    • One-Year Goal
      • Based on my five-year goal, what’s the ONE thing I can do this year?
    • Monthly Goal
      • Based on my One-year goal, what’s the ONE thing I can do this month?
    • Weekly Goal
      • Based on my Monthly goal, what’s the ONE thing I can do this week?
    • Daily Goal
      • Based on my weekly goal, what’s the ONE thing I can do today?
    • Right Now
      • Based on my Daily goal, what’s the ONE thing I can do right now?
  • “In three separate studies, psychologists observed 262 students to see the impact of visualization on outcomes. The students were asked to visualize in one of two ways: Those in one group were told to visualize the outcome and the others were told to visualize the process needed to achieve a desired outcome. In the end, students who visualized the process performed better across the board – they studies earlier and more frequently and earned higher grades than those who simply visualized the outcome.” –  pg. 152
Lie #1: Everything Matters Equally
  • Achievers always have a sense of priority and don’t focus on being busy. Rather, they focus on being productive.
  • There is a difference between a ‘To-Do’ List and a ‘Success List’. The ‘To-Do’ list is all encompassing; it includes everything you need to do. The success list is focused: it defines the 20 percent of action that will generate 80 percent of your results.
  • “Selected effort creates almost all of the rewards” – pg. 37
  • You can take it even a step further and focus on one thing that, by doing it, makes everything else easier or unnecessary.
Lie #2: A Disciplined Life
  • “Success is actually a short race- a sprint fueled by discipline just long enough for habit to kick in and take over.” Pg. 55
  • “You can become successful with less disciple than you think, for one simple reason: success is about doing the right thing, not about doing everything right.” – pg. 55
Lie #3: Willpower is always on will-call
  • Willpower has a limited battery life but can be recharged with downtime. If you employ it for one task, there will be less power available for the next task unless you refuel.
  • When our willpower is low we tend to fall back on our default settings.
  • Lesson: Make doing what matters most a priority when your willpower is its highest. Do your most important thing early before your willpower is drawn down over the course of the day. If that means you have to get up earlier in order to ensure something is completed, make that a priority.
Lie #4: A Balanced Life
  • If you always live in the middle, it is hard for anything extraordinary to happen. The magic happens at the extremes. However, if you are always playing to the extremes there are consequences. Thus, it is not so much about balance as it is about counterbalance.
  • Counterbalance
    • To achieve an extraordinary result you must choose what matters most and give it all the time it demands.
    • Personal Life = Go Short: avoid long periods where you’re out of balance. Nothing should be left behind.
    • Professional Life = Go Long. Appreciate the fact that extraordinary results often require you to be out of balance for quite some time. Think about the great authors and inventors of the world, sacrifice is made for an amazing outcome.
  • “Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and integrity. And you’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls – family, health, friends, integrity – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.” –James Patterson
We hope you find this guidance and planning as useful as we did!