Let’s talk about The One Thing by Gary Keller
The subtitle of this book is really interesting, it says, the surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results. As an ambitious entrepreneur I’m sure you’re not looking to do something ordinary. You are looking to do something extraordinary but you feel like you’re frustrated because you’re still not there in the realm of extraordinary what’s the difference what’s going on why are we not extraordinary yet? So let’s dwell into it let’s figure out what is that one thing that takes us from ordinary to extraordinary. Now just to clarify Gary Keller he is the founder of Keller Williams Realty the largest real estate company in the world in the US so there’s definitely something he has done extraordinarily well and we all got to listen to what he has to say.
Not the first big idea is the idea of the dominos. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the domino the falling of dominos and the principle of dominoes but one of the interesting things about Domino’s is that when a domino falls it can take dominoes that is 50% bigger than that size so 2 inch domino can take a 3 inch Domino and when a 3 inch domino falls it can take a 4.5 inch Domino and so on and so forth in math we call this geometric progression when the numbers increase in a fixed ratio or time. Initially each numbers are small and you don’t really think you’re making much progress but if you allowed this progression to continue happening and you keep with this it gains tremendous momentum to the point where you get from being just ordinary to becoming extraordinary. Now if the first domino the first falling domino was 2 inches tall. Let’s first accept that we all have limited amount of time and energy in this world to make anything extraordinary or ordinary happen. Let’s say I gave you enough energy and time to topple 60 dominos. Now we could either go and say, okay well 60 dominos how about you could either say take 10 dominos in six different areas you’d say okay ill push 10 dominos in this area 10 dominos in that area, 10 dominos in that area, ill spread m energy for 60 dominos amongst 6 different areas 10 dominos each while another person says, oh no, I will just take 60 dominos in one area. Now who’s going to get extraordinary results? Now let’s go over this plan, let’s try to figure out what will happen. When you have 10 dominos falling in one area, what is the max height of that 10th domino will be? The 10th domino will be just about as tall as your bedroom ceiling if you start with a 2 inch domino. However, if you keep up, instead of spreading your energy on these six different areas, you’re just focused your energy in one area. You said, okay instead of doing 10 dominos here, 10 dominos there, 10 dominos there, let’s just line them all up and let them each increase 50% overtime. What you will have is that the 57th domino will be as high as the distance from the Earth to the moon. That is how dazzlingly high it will be. So what I’m trying to convey, what the others are trying to convey is if you spread your energy all over the place, you really will not be able to achieve extraordinary results. You’d get ordinary results. Maybe you’ll topple a domino as high as your bedroom wall in 5 or 6 different areas but if you really keep at it in one area, then you could topple a domino as high as the distance from the Earth to the moon. Now that is extraordinary, that is powerful. That is what this one thing is all about. So realize this, how you are spreading energy in your life and how you probably need to focus on this one domino on this one area where you can probably topple off 60 dominos if you just kept at it.
The second big idea is the idea of Extreme Pareto principle. Now we all know Pareto principle and for those of you who don’t know, William Pereto, he was an Italian economist and what he found out was that 20% of the people owned 80% of the wealth in the country and 20% of criminals committed 80% of the crimes and so on and so forth. To the point that he realized that in life 80% of the results come from 20% of our effort and this has been shown true time and time again. What the others are saying though is that Pareto principle is great it is the 80-20 rule but how about we take it really far to the point where we say, let’s do a Pareto of Pareto of Pareto. What that means is like 20% of 20% of 20% to get us that amazing result and what they’re saying is let’s just focus on that one thing. The one out of hundred because that’s where we’ll get massively exponential results. There’s a simple saying that others have which is if you try to do everything you might end up getting nothing done. But if you try to do one thing, you would surprise yourself with the extraordinary results you’d get. Another understanding that we need to have is that things which matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least or things that matter little. Sometimes we just get inundated with all the mundane that’s coming at us but we must focus on what is the most important. That is our key to create success to extraordinary results.
The next big idea is the focusing question. Now what is this focusing question? It is that first of all understanding that we become our questions. The questions we ask will change our lives. As Tony Robins will say that our questions are who we are. We become our questions. Now what is that one question? What is the focusing question that you can ask yourself? So here is the focusing question as what others say, what’s the one thing that you can do such that everything else will become unnecessary or unimportant? What’s the one thing that you can do in this week, in this day, in this month, in this year? Identify your one thing that you need to do. Whatever it is, that is where you will make the most progress. So really important to ask this focusing question to yourself rather than allowing yourself to get pulled away all the different things you could be doing. Ask yourself, what is that one thing I could be doing today? What is the one thing I need to focus on this quarter? What is the one thing I need to focus on this week? What is that one thing I need to get accomplished no matter what happens today? Because once you do that you can create extraordinary results.
The other big idea is focus. What the others are saying is don’t spread your focus. Go 1 inch wide and 1 mile deep. Go deep, don’t go wide, don’t try to do everything. Go deep because that is where the riches lie. That is where extraordinary results lie. That is where you can get tremendous leverage. And why should we be focused? Because in true focus we get real clarity. Bruce Lee used to say a warrior is just an average person with laser-like focus not an amazing person with focus but just anybody with tremendous focus and that’s what these others are trying to say. It’s okay wherever you are, you are average. But have laser-like focus because then you’d have clarity you will have understanding of what is important and your focus on that 1-inch width but you’d go 1 mile deep.
Now that we’ve talked about why it is really important to focus on that one thing, let’s figure out how to really do that. Let’s figure out how we can really structure our time so we can be most productive. What the others are saying is that we need to at least block out our time in a glance. We need to block out chunks of time for this one thing. And Gary Keller says you need to at least block out 4 hours a day in order to get your one thing in order to get extraordinary results. 4 hours everyday for this particular task. Now normally you should be blocking out this time, you should protect this time. No matter what comes, you protect this time. And it’s not just about spending a lot of time but spending quality focused time on this thing that is really important to you right now. As we talk about in the effective executive, as executives, we need to have consolatory chunks of time. We cannot have drifts and drafts of time. Not only that we need to be able to concentrate we need to be able to focus on what is most important. Because only through concentration, only through focus can we do our most important work. Only through having these blocks of time, uninterrupted blocks of time can we really concentrate can we really bring all our intensity. It’s almost like a lens. When you have sun rays going through that lens. When you have focus when you have that concentration of energy, that’s when paper burns. That’s when you get the will to move. That’s when you get leverage. That’s when you get extraordinary results. If you, instead of having a 4 hour block of time, you split that up into 20 chunks of 12 minutes each, you would get nowhere close to the results if you just spend 12 minutes here 12 minutes there, you will never get the results that you want compared to just focusing having this chunk of time where you do nothing else but focus on what is most important.
And another idea to bring the idea of the one thing into action is having accountability partners. What Gary Keller found out through some of the research that had already been done is that we’re 76% more likely to accomplish a goal if we have an accountability partner and if we tell them what we’re going to do. So have an accountability partner don’t try to do it alone don’t try to think that you by yourself can do it. You need a team you need to have this accountability in order for things to get done. Also, find a coach. They highly recommend you hire a coach because if you look at sports, if you look at some of the greatest endeavors in life, people have coaches, without coaches there are no great results. So find coaches because they will help you find your one thing.