What’s Your ONE Thing?
I recently finished a great book by Gary Keller entitled The One Thing. Though business oriented, premise of the I found to be something transcendental. I’m often asked by students what do I need to do get better or get as good as so and so. The answer is often simpler than they would like to hear.
Keller advocates three major ideas:
- The ONE Thing is the best approach to getting what you want
- Success is a result of narrowing your concentration to one thing
- Success is built sequentially, one thing at a time
Success is a direct result of a singular concentration, a narrowed focus one thing and one thing only. Where success wanes is where focus does too. The absolute greatest chance to success is by going small, narrowing focus and effort. Doing fewer things more effectively than many with smaller results.
This takes an extreme amount of discipline. Having an ability to say no often because everything is not important; definitely not more important than the one thing that is the focus. This is where most will get themselves in trouble. We novel the idea of a balanced life. Equal time between career, family, friends, and personal wants. Yet, to guarantee success to a very high degree this simply is not possible. We convince ourselves it is but, in an attempt, to do so we leave a tremendous amount of potential in everyone of them on the table.
Multi-tasking is a figment of our imagination; at least in terms of experiencing extraordinary results. It is simple math. There is only so much time and effort to go around. If it is spread thin, then nothing gets the necessary attention to develop beyond an average or pretty good level. I, myself, am a perfect example. Early in my martial arts career I consciously chose to study and practice multiple arts to be as well-rounded practitioner as possible. That decision prevented me, and will do so forever, from achieving an elite level at any one of them. Why? None were given my full attention and effort for any significant period to do so. I am very competent, accomplished, and skilled in all of them but not what I would call an elite level at any of them.
Achieving an extraordinary result requires you to choose what matters most and give it all the time it demands, which is a lot. It essentially requires your life getting extremely out of balance in relation to all other things vice an infrequent moment of attention to address them. Extreme? Yes. Truth? Yes indeed. Set a goal and put everything secondary to it.
This is precisely why focusing your time is so critical. The path to your goal must be cleared of any obstacles (i.e. excuses and distractions) that may prevent your sole, undivided focus. It’s easy to say your health and fitness are important to you but are they THE most important thing in your life. It should be…without it nothing else is possible! If we agree then then it must take priority in your day. You must reserve a hard time on your schedule that cannot be tampered. Nothing can be allowed to take its place because nothing is more important. Only when you commit to nothing taking precedent then will consistent and ultimately a high-level success be experienced.
Again, we cannot lose perspective. At different points in our lives different things may take priority. Understanding this we cannot be surprised when other parts then suffer. It is what it is. The math still applies. We never gain more time, energy, or effort. We simply move it around.
Keller says it best with, “At any moment in time there can be only ONE Thing, and when that ONE Thing is in line with your purpose and sits atop your priorities, it will be the most productive thing you can do to launch you toward the best you can be. When you know what matters most, everything makes sense. When you don’t know what matters most, anything makes sense.”
Everyday Is Training Day – Reap What You Sow