The ONE Thing: Book Review

By Ami Robbins

“The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan was given to me by a colleague during one of those life decision periods, when trying to discern next steps, but feeling at a crossroads, what direction to proceed next, a state of “paralysis analysis”.  Not realizing at the time, that “The One Thing” I chose to do was to read this book. The “Surprisingly Simple Truth” that I found in the context of this self -discovery read, was that the concepts were ones that I was familiar with and these concepts were floating around in my mind, but in putting words, stories, and  visuals to those concepts, it helped keep me focused. 
For anyone with an  ever growing to-do list, I highly recommend that you add this quick read to it. I would like to share three takeaways from this book. Although, the following points may seem like common sense, having these takeaways to mentally reference in the course of the day, has proved to be beneficial. As a visual learner and self deemed multi tasker, the following key points really hit home: 

Domino Effect. Keller and Papasan used the domino effect to explain how individually one domino represents a small amount of potential energy. If enough dominoes are lined up, with the touch of the first domino the chain reaction can create enough potential energy to not only knock down something of the same size, but something double its size. Imagining if this size progression continued, the initial step, this ONE THING could grow to be taller than the Eiffel Tower by the 23rd domino or even Mt. Everest by the 31st domino! So, in essence, accomplishing a single task, One Thing, over and over, can help you accomplish large successes over time. 

Keep it simple. Just one thing. In any given 2 moment you only have the mental capacity to focus fully on one task. Despite the belief that we can multi-task and by doing so accomplish more…we can’t. It’s what the authors highlight as one of the Six Mistruths we are led to believe by society 1. Everything matters equally 2. You can multitask 3. You must be disciplined to be successful 4. Willpower is always on will call 5. You can lead a balanced life 6. Bigger is better. 

Go Small. Instead of doing it all, the authors contend that you really need to look at life from through the lenses of doing less. Think about the task you accomplish as a lever. Will the action you undertake yield a disproportionate reaction? 

So with that, I leave us with the ONE Focusing Question posed in the book:

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

Until next time…