“What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” Gary Keller’s New York Times Best-Selling book ‘The ONE Thing’ explains how by focusing entirely on one thing, you can accomplish extraordinary results. A very simple philosophy, almost common sense, and yet most of us naturally don’t follow it.
We all have big goals and dreams… but they always seem so far away. No matter how much we desire them it sometimes feels that we aren’t getting any closer, stuck in some kind of endless cycle in business and life. This is because we lack focus and understanding of importance. Our dreams might be big, but we don’t know how to envision and execute the BIG steps to get there. At Wapp we’ve made it a rule to always be reading a book, something to benefit ourselves and our business. So where did we start? I thought it was only natural to start at ONE.
Following its own principles, ‘The ONE Thing’ focuses on drilling in your head ONE thing: That in order to succeed efficiently in any area, you must focus on ONE thing at a time, the most important thing. Let’s cover a few key elements to doing this effectively:
Think Big and Specific
If one of your goals in life is to ‘be happy’, thats great! But how do you reach that goal? How are you even sure when you’ve reached it? To accomplish something you need to know exactly what it is and know how to get to it. Being vague does not let you check off something once you complete it. And it doesn’t help you find where to start. The more specific you are with your goal the easier it is to start. Narrow the point so that there is no confusion on how to get there, and the steps line into place. Being specific with your goals allows you to know when you’ve accomplished something, and it will make you feel great. I want to be happy. But what makes me happy? What is the ONE thing that makes me happy? Start there.
Make Steps by Asking
When we’re young we tend to have huge dreams. Whether it be an astronaut, a famous musician or movie star, or the President of the United States, we were only limited by our imaginations. But as we grew up we began to see things in front of us and get distracted. Then that far off dream began to get fuzzy. Our problem is we lack vision. We could see far, but couldn’t focus the lense. Our dreams weren’t clear enough.
Once you’ve narrowed in on a specific goal you need to plan your steps by asking the ONE question over and over. Start here:
What’s the ONE thing I want someday?
Based on my SOMEDAY Goal
What’s the ONE thing I can do in the next 5 years?
Based on my 5 YEAR Goal
What’s the ONE thing I can do in the next year?
Continue from here going from 1 year, to 1 month, to 1 week, to today, to NOW.
Schedule + Discipline
But it isn’t realistic to ONLY do the most important thing at ALL times! This is true, we all have other obligations in our business and daily life. But in order to get results you must give your ONE thing efficient time in order to reach your goal. You must be structured with it, and do it repeatedly. Jerry Seinfeld famously when asked the secret to his success said he would practice every day, marking an X on his calendar for that day. Pretty soon he would have a chain and more than anything he did not want to ‘break the chain’. In his book Gary Keller recommends making a chain for your ONE thing Monday through Friday. And then give your ONE thing at least 4 hours in the morning of each day. Don’t over do it, and don’t under do it. You MUST keep the chain going but you must not forget your other duties. Tend to these in the afternoon. Saturdays are for pleasure and rest, and Sunday you plan your week and repeat.
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No one ever said success was easy. But no successful person ever came about it by luck. Quit working hard, and start working SMART. Focus on the ONE Thing that matters.
‘The ONE Thing‘ by Gary Keller
This is great! Nice to have these questions outlined. It is so important to break down goals into smaller steps. Thank you for another great article!