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1-Page Summary of The One Thing


The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan is a self-help book that emphasizes the importance of focusing on one thing in life. Keller realized he was so busy with his work that he was actually holding himself back from achieving success. He found that if he took time to focus on just one task, it would make him more successful than if he tried to do many different things at once. Just as small dominoes can topple larger ones, achieving big things requires a series of seemingly minor actions over time.

Many successful companies focus on one particular product. For example, Apple and Intel have both done this. Successful people often get their start because of a chance meeting with someone who can help them achieve their dreams. They also tend to be passionate about something like sports or another country’s culture.

An obstacle to focus is the belief that every task is equally important, even though most results come from a small amount of effort. Another obstacle is the belief that multitasking makes people more efficient, although it tends to decrease work quality. Some people believe discipline will make them more productive, but habits are much better for this purpose. They may also think it’s best to have a balance between work and home life or that having high expectations in mind when starting something new is dangerous or wasteful. However, all of these opinions prevent focus.

The best place to apply your focus is the one thing that will make other things easier or irrelevant. To do this, you should ask yourself what single thing will have a big impact on your goal. You should also be specific and thorough in researching it. If you want to develop the habit of being focused, then you need to consistently apply it and remind yourself of why it’s important.

People who pursue their dreams and individual fulfillment can be happy. This happiness comes from focusing on a long-term goal, breaking it down into smaller goals that will help you achieve your dream, working towards mastering a skill or subject, thinking about the future rather than just now, and building accountability. It’s also important to turn down opportunities when necessary so you won’t get overwhelmed by them, stay healthy in order to focus better on the things that matter most to you, build an environment where people support your dreams instead of trying to change them for you.

Key Takeaways

The best way to be productive is to do fewer things. Focus on those few things completely and you’ll be more successful. The most successful companies focus on a single product or niche, even though common assumptions about productivity say that work ethic and multitasking are important parts of being productive. To find out what the right thing is to focus your attention on, ask yourself what makes other tasks easier or unnecessary.

When you apply a specific question to a task, it should be both ambitious and well-researched.

In order to be successful, one must practice asking and answering the question that focuses them on their goals. This will help create a habit of success. It’s important to have reminders for this purpose, such as visual cues or supportive people who can remind you of your focus. In order to achieve happiness while pursuing fulfillment in life, it is necessary to focus on one thing at a time by using time blocking strategies. One should also work towards mastering skills needed for accomplishing more through fewer tasks and use purposeful thinking rather than entrepreneurial thinking. Finally, accountability habits are much better than adopting a victim complex because they allow us to take control over our lives instead of blaming outside factors for our problems.

#1 Book Summary: The One Thing, by Gary Keller