My Review: The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

Life is a question and how we live it is the answer.


The One Thing is Keller’s prescriptive recipe for success based on the idea that we are more defined by our no’s than by our yes’s—say yes to one thing and you are saying no to every other thing. In defining our one purpose (which will then determine the priorities that lead to productivity and eventually to profit), Keller says think big and go small. Create a plan for the small tasks that will bring you to your big dream and start today. Make time for those tasks every single day and protect that time at all costs.


The first step in the direction of defining my one purpose would likely be to stop denying that I’m crappy at focusing on just one thing. I am the kind of overcommitted (or as I like to say—well-rounded and curious) woman that likes holding the ‘bottomless beggar’s bowl of human desire’ that Keller spits upon in his methodology. But I suppose if I want something I’ve never had I need to do something I’ve never done—focus.


Other central ideas:


Do things happen to you or do you make things happen? Do you fit reality into your perspective or do you face reality head-on? Do you do it the best that you can or do you do it the best that it can be done?


When you run out of will-power, who do you become? What are your default settings? All the will-power you’ll ever need is just enough to form a habit to improve those default settings.