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The ONE Thing Book Review

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? 


  • It does sound interesting, even if I am not sure if I have a ONE thing. I am quite spontaneus with my goals and dont have one specific main goal and I am not sure I need one. And yes, four hours is a lot of time for someone working and wanting a social life.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • That’s what I thought too – without trying to retype the whole novel though, the authors discuss how you can choose One thing to work on to create a domino effect with goals (so it doesn’t have to be one set thing… I guess.) Which makes it more manageable… sort of.
      Four hours is RIDICULOUS haha.

  • Kay (shoesandglitter)

    It does sound like an interesting book, but I think the whole ‘four hour’ thing would kinda frustrate me! Like, who honestly has the time for that, these days? I don’t know… Whilst I appreciate self-help books, I do think that a lot of them are kinda ‘wishy-washy’… I don’t want to judge this one without reading it, but by the sounds of it, it doesn’t seem that helpful. I don’t know whether I have a ‘one thing’, either… It would probably be blogging? Which I dedicate to all my spare time, anyways! Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts with us, love. Much appreciated! 🙂 <3 xoxo


    • I agree – Although a lot of it is kind of hoax-y it does provide some good tips for how to achieve certain milestones. If you know that you love one specific thing then this is a great book to hone in on it.

  • That me want to read the book.. sounds like useful

    The Fashion Matters- Travel & Fashion blog | Instagram: TheFashionMatters

  • Sounds like this book has some pretty helpful tips, but sort of limits itself by focusing on the one thing. I’ll definitely check it out though. :]

    // ▲ ▲

  • This looks interesting! <33 And it's a good year-ender(ish) book.

  • It’s a very interesting method that I’m thinking about applying to my goals. Sometimes, I lack motivation and this does remind me of taking that first step in the long path to my goals! x

  • I think it’s hard not to get hung up on the idea that you have no time to achieve your dream ! But like you found you can do it, just in smaller steps, it’s difficult to get to a place that’s worth going but in the end it will be worth it !

    lots of love,Marianne xxx

  • This sounds great! I really want to make more time to read self-help genre books as I think they’re absolutely fascinating. The most recent one I’ve delved into is The Goddess Revolution by Mel Wells – definitely worth a little read if you’re interested in how the diet industries have warped our relationships with food! I’ll have to give this one a go too. I really like your blog – do you want to follow each other on Bloglovin’ so we can keep up with eachothers’ posts?

    – Ruby Xx

    Another Ruby
    / Bloglovin’

    • Oh that sounds interesting! I’ll have to add that to my list of must-reads! Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Ruby. I’ll definitely pop over to your website and say hello 🙂

  • I haven’t heard this book before. It sounds interesting, especially the first sentence got me! Sometimes you can’t think about simple things like that. Focusing on two things at once might not give you the best result, so why can’t we do one by one, right? 4 hours every morning… That would be ideal for self-employed people but it is not ideal for someone with a full time job. But as you said, maybe 2 hours daily to work on that one thing might get you to that thing you want. I might check it out!

    Ela BellaWorld

    • Exactly! Having a specific focus can make it so much easier to achieve your goals. And every little bit does count!

  • Sounds like there are a few flaws but overall the concept of a ‘ONE thing’ is pretty cool. I could see myself waking up every morning asking myself what my one thing today is. I do have a hard time when people talk about their hated of lists and how counter productive it is. I think it just depends. I work really really well off lists. 🙂


    • The list thing shocked me too! But the author explained the reasoning really well (which I would share but… I don’t want to re-write his words haha!) Lists are still important for me, it’s just a matter of making sure the most important thing is on top!

  • To be honest, it sounds like a self-help book that I probably should read but won’t because I’m too lethargic too. I might skim through it and feel good for just a bit, it might be cool actually.

    xx BASH |   go say   H E Y   B A S H

  • It does sound intriguing. I’d love to read the book just to see what the author has to say. I guess the main problem with almost all self help books is that they don’t provide the hows, they mostly focus on whys and whats. I mean, you read the book, you are so motivated that you need to do something, you need to think differently and all that jazz but you feel lost in the end because you don’t know HOW to do it. 🙂

    – Leta | The Nerdy Me

    • Yes, it’s definitely something you need to challenge yourself with. The nice thing about this author is that he provides some “exercises” to help you figure out your one thing and a bit of the time blocking as well… so it helps a little, but you really need to have the determination.

  • Sounds like a great book I should read! The way the book starts off already caught my attention.

  • Yiotou_La

    This book sounds interesting, I used to read lots of self-help books years ago when I was working in a bookshop! The Russian Proverb is something that happens to all of us throught our day, we chase too many things and plan to do lots of things every day and at the end of the day, we do not accomplish anything. It needs one step at a time and needs time and hard work!


  • I’m also a sucker for self help and personal development books as well! I haven’t heard this one before but I just might check it out since I have the problems that most millennials have of having too many things they want to do at once lol

    Stacey +

    • SO TRUE. We want everything hahaha. It’s a good read *if you don’t get yourself hung up on the whole time blocking thing like me obviously*

  • Pau

    Interesting book. These types of books are up my alley… I hadn’t heard of this one but now it does peek my interest 🙂 Thanks for sharing!


  • I’ll definitely have to pick up this book and give it a read! lovely review x

    Liz | LotsofLoveLiz

  • Love this amazing blog, thank you for sharing!!!


  • This books sounds so interesting. Holiday is coming so I will have a long vacation time, I might look for this book and add to my reading list 🙂


  • Sounds interesting! Have to put it on my to-read list!

    Lizzie | Takeoffs & Landings

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