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The ONE Thing by Gary Keller

This past weekend my wife and I loaded up the kids and drove 7 hours north from Orlando to Augusta to visit her family. Beth was gracious enough to do most of the driving, which allowed me to consume my latest treat from Amazon…

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller with Jay Papason

If you want to reach your potential,  you need to read this book. Here are my key take-aways and favorite quotes from the book.

Key Take-Aways:

Success comes from focusing on your most important activity that will bring you the most results. This activity is like the first domino in a chain of dominos…each one building sequentially on the other. Your job is simply to identify the first domino, and work on it until it falls.

Discipline is only needed long enough to create a habit. Successful people aren’t necessarily the most disciplined, but they are the ones that have the best habits. Discipline then is merely a tool to create successful habits.

Keller cites research that shows it takes an average 0f 66 days to create a habit. My first domino is simply getting up at 5 AM daily. This almost guarantees success as it gives me margin to do my most important work before the kids wake up and “daily life” starts. Today marks Day One for me of creating a habit of getting up every day at 5 AM (normally I start the week strong and by Thursday I’m waking up too late and just reacting to the week instead of creating the week).

Favorite Quotes:

  • If you chase two rabbits you will not catch either one. -Russian Proverb
  • Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus. -Gary Keller
  • Find the lead domino, and whack away at it until it falls. -Gary Keller
  • Success is built sequentially. It’s one thing at a time. -Gary Keller
  • It is those who concentrate at one thing at a time who advance in this world. -Og Mandino
  • Success demands singleness of purpose. -Vince Lombardi
  • Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. -Johann Wolfgang van Goethe
  • The things which are most important don’t always scream the loudest. -Bob Hawk
  • Multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time. -Steve Uzzell
  • Success is actually a short race – a sprint fueled by discipline just long enough for habit to kick in and take over. -Gary Keller
  • When we know something that needs to be done but isn’t currently getting done, we often say, “I just need more discipline.” Actually, we need the habit of doing it. And we  need just enough discipline to build the habit. -Gary Keller
  • The trick to success is to choose the right habit and bring just enough discipline to establish it. -Gary Keller
  • It takes an average of 66 days to acquire a new habit. -University College of London Study 2009
  • Your work life is divided into two distinct areas – what matters most and everything else. You will have to take what matters to the extremes and be okay with what happens to the rest. Professional success requires it. -Gary Keller
  • Anyone who dreams of an uncommon life eventually discovers that there is no choice but to seek an uncommon approach to living it. -Gary Keller
  • What is the ONE thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary? -Gary Keller
  • Until my ONE thing is done, everything else is a distraction. -Gary Keller
  • People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures. -F.M. Alexander
  • If everyone has the same amount of time and yet some earn more than others, can we say then say that it’s how we use our time that determines the money we make? -Gary Keller
  • If disproportionate results come from one activity, then you must give that one activity disproportionate time. -Gary Keller
  • There is magic in knocking down your most important domino day after day. All you have to do is avoid breaking the chain, one day at a time, until you generate a powerful new habit in your life. -Gary Keller
  • Taking complete ownership of your outcomes by holding no one but yourself responsible for them is the most powerful thing you can do to drive your success. -Gary Keller
  • You’d be hard pressed to find elite achievers who don’t have coaches helping them in key areas of their life. -Gary Keller
  • In the end, the best way to succeed is to go small. And when you go small, you say no – a lot. A lot more than you might have even considered before. -Gary Keller
  • When you give your ONE Thing your most emphatic “Yes!” and vigorously say “No!” to the rest, extraordinary results become possible. -Gary Keller
  • Only those who risk going to far can possibly find out how far one can go. -T.S. Eliot
  • Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the age harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain
  • To ignite your life you must focus on ONE Thing long enough for it to catch fire. -Gary Keller

[reminder]I stated above that I’m creating a daily habit of getting up at 5 AM. What is ONE new habit you need to create to propel you towards success?[/reminder]