I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for the self-help and personal improvement style of book. The ONE Thing, by Gary W. Kellar and Jay Papasan, is a combination of personal improvement and business. The aim of the book is to help develop and find the ONE thing you need to do everyday in order to create a domino effect with your success.
The book starts off with the Russian Proverb “If you chase two rabbits you will not catch either one” which provides the reader insight on the purpose of the novel – to find the ONE thing. The chapters are split into concise sections with key points underlined and bullet point notes at the end. The layout of the book is simple, straight to the point and avoids jargon that readers may not understand.
Now, the idea of finding the ONE thing is great. Supplementary exercises are provided by the authors to help the reader figure out what their ONE thing is through answering questions and questioning their motives. As well as learning that to-do lists are fun to write, but are actually very unproductive. As they will not help you to achieve your ONE thing.
Developing the focusing question is a hard thing to do. When there’s so much going on in our lives trying to decide what the ONE thing is, is not an easy task. This book really helped me figure out what my ONE thing is. That being said, do I feel as though I can put in the necessary effort that the book describes in order to reach my ONE goal? No, not really.
The greatest flaw in this book is the subject of time. When you’re working a full-time job, you probably won’t be able to block off four hours each morning in order to work on your ONE thing. In fact, working a 9-5:30pm job means that I’d have to wake up at 5am everyday in order to actively spend the recommended four hours each day for achieving my ONE thing. That is, if your ONE thing does not relate to your current job.
That’s where this book lost me. I want to know HOW I can achieve my ONE thing while working a job, that I need in order to pay my bills, and keep a roof over my head while working toward my end goal. After reading that you need four hours everyday to work on your ONE thing, it just doesn’t seem feasible… at least not for me, not in the way it was described.
Honestly, reading that you need to dedicate the minimum of four hours every day actually made me feel as though I may never reach my ONE thing. That it will forever be out of reach.
I put down the book and stopped reading it after that.
The ONE thing kept bothering me.
I kept thinking, how can I achieve this when I already feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? What can I do to change my life such by doing it, everything else I might do will be easier or unnecessary? A mantra which the author pushes in order prioritize your ONE thing.
I realized that it had hit-home, I started waking up every morning thinking what is my ONE thing today? What can I achieve such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary? How can I make the time I need to work on my ONE thing?
I picked up the book again. Determined to at least let the Author have one last chance to help me figure out how I could make this possible, how I could change my life to help work on the ONE thing.
The thing is, the Author doesn’t give you the answer. He gives you a time blocking schedule – something to work on every week in order to ensure that you provide yourself enough time to work on your ONE thing. Sometimes you need to break it up, you can’t always work four hours straight.
In order to achieve your ONE thing, you have to want to achieve it. There’s no set method. Life will always be busy, you’re always going to feel like you never have time. You have to schedule it, stick to it as best you can. Otherwise you’re letting your dreams pass you by.
You need to actively sit down once a week and develop your ONE thing for that week which will help you to achieve your end goal.
It’s not necessarily going to be easy to find the time to work on your ONE thing, but if you really want it then you will make the time.
It took me a month to finish this book, I was so hung up on the anger I felt about not having the time to achieve what I wanted. So stuck on the fact that four hours every single day was too many – I get home from work, work on my ONE thing and go to bed? Is that my life? No.
I’ve accepted that, maybe I took the time blocking too seriously. Perhaps I can still achieve my ONE thing (albeit a little bit slower) if I start with blocking two hours every day. Two hours is more manageable, I’m still working on my goal.
Two hours every day is 14 hours a week, 14 hours a week is still better than none. I can still achieve my ONE thing.
If you feel lost, not knowing what your end goal is – I encourage you to read The ONE thing. Don’t get hung up on the time blocking (like I did.) Spend your time thinking about the prioritizing, the focusing, living with purpose. There is a lot of good content in this book to learn from.
I am glad that I read this book, I did find it extremely helpful. It provides the framework for achieving your ONE thing – you just need to actively practice it.
Are you interested in finding your ONE thing?