The ONE Thing – Gary Keller

The One Thing [LINK]– Gary Keller

The subtitle explains the premise: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. Extraordinary results require focusing on ONE Thing. Gary Keller, founder of Keller Williams Realty, shares the strategies for how he built one of the most successful real estate companies.

Deep focus is an edge in the work force. Multitasking is not difficult, but it is not a desirable trait — giving attention to two things is divided attention. Keller suggests finding the ONE Thing to take precedence over all else. Similar to the Warren Buffett’s 25/5 rule: write down 25 things you want to focus on, circle the top 5 and forget about the other 20. This does not mean we can’t have fun or undertake new hobbies, engaging in front-sight focus means there is one thing that will take priority over all others.

Keller brings an interesting explanation on the work/life balance fallacy in that it is idealistic but not realistic. Nothing ever achieves absolute balance and tasks should never be treated as such. We should weight tasks differently, and in such, work/life will skew to either side.

Vilfredo Pareto, the economist behind the Pareto Principle, found that 20% of effort produces 80% of the results. Using this principle, Keller suggests, “What’s the ONE Thing that I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” We can start small today and see where it takes us. What we do today will either empower or restrict us tomorrow. As Keller explains, “No one knows their ultimate ceiling for achievement, so worrying about it is a waste of time.”

Jocko Willink, former Navy SEAL and author of Extreme Ownership, has a fitting philosophy: Discipline equals Freedom. Creating priorities and staying disciplined limits the amount of willpower required for each action. Focusing on the ONE Thing liberates everything else.

If you can’t figure out what your ONE Thing is, ask yourself: “What’s the ONE Thing I can do right now to start using The ONE Thing in my life such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”