With so many self-help and productivity books available, with many more being written every day, it can be overwhelming to know where to even begin for people who are stressed-out and over-worked. No offense to those braver and more dedicated than I am who write these books, but a lot of it is “plan and execute”.

Every now and then, though, a book comes along that is a true game-changer. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results is one of those game-changers. Although It’s been on many best-seller lists I’m continually surprised by how many people I mention it to who have never heard of it. So for those of you who I’ve mentioned this to, here’s a quick review and recommendation.

The ONE Thing encourages you to ask yourself a simple but profound question every day and every time you need to make a decision on what to do next.

“What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

By focusing on what you CAN do you’re already eliminating many “options” that aren’t really options. You’re moving past what you should, could, or would do (usually followed by a lot of “if” scenarios) and focusing on what you CAN actually do right now. You’re focusing on the possible.

Then “by doing it” you’re thinking is in action mode. And when you think about how everything else will be easier or unnecessary you’re giving the action it’s true priority.

If this all seems a little vague, fear not. In The ONE Thing, Gary Keller and Jay Papasan provide you with many real world examples from people who are doing incredibly huge things down to the rest of us who are trying to do great things in our sphere of influence.

And if you’re in a moment of stress or panic and don’t know what to do, the ONE thing you can do is make a list of all the things necessary for your outcomes. Then the next ONE thing you can do is begin prioritizing.

As I edit this post I recognize I’m not doing the book and its concepts justice, so I highly recommend you go to your library, Amazon, or a Barnes & Noble to pick this up. It’s an easy read and you’ll be motivated to start implementing some of the recommendations immediately. They also have an online community and podcast for you to connect with others who are either in your same boat or have been there and made it to shore.

I’ll leave you with a great visual they continually reference in the book. Finding your ONE thing is attacking the first domino. A domino can knock over a domino 1.5 times its size so eventually you’ll knock down the huge domino you’re facing by tackling all of the smaller ones.

Here’s a YouTube video demonstrating it that is fun to watch even if you don’t read the book.


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