“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret to getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and then starting on the first one.” -Mark Twain
A good book is like downloading a new app onto the operating system that is your consciousness. Amazing books are spellbooks, and they teach you spells that help you reconfigure your reality. The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan is a fucking spell book. And the spell is, “What is the One thing you can do, such that by doing so, everything else becomes either easier or unnecessary?” This is the question, the spell, that if you start to use everyday, you’ll start skipping ahead toward your goal.
Addition By Subtraction; Pareto’s Law
This book is a crowning jewel of the philosophy I tried articulating in my post, Addition by Subtraction. Most of what we do is wasteful, both of our time and in producing results. There is an economic law called “Pareto’s Law,” or better known as the 80/20 principle. A pattern emerges wherever large numbers of humans start interacting, and the pattern is that a small percentage produces a disproportionately large effect. More than 80% of wealth goes to 20% of the population, 20% of pea plants produce 80% of the offspring, and 80% of the stuff you do in a day is not getting you any closer to your Life Goal.
So, “What is the One thing you can do, such that by doing so, everything else becomes either easier or unnecessary?”
To properly use this spell, you need to figure out your life’s ONE Thing. What is the reason you wake up? Why are you living and doing and consuming and producing? Determine that. Once you determine what your life’s ONE Thing is, you can implement the technique, “Goal Setting to the Now.”
Goal Setting to the Now
Ask yourself these questions today.
What is my One thing, that if I strive for every day, I could die tomorrow and not regret my choice?
Note: What is important here is that your Life’s One thing is not an objective, it is a direction, it is a way of living. For example, your One Thing is not to make a million dollars. A corrected answer would be something like “to creatively solve society’s problems by creating tools and businesses.”
Next, “What is the One Thing I can do in five years, that by doing so, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
“What is the One Thing I can do in one year, such that by doing, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
“What is the One Thing I can do in a month, such that by doing, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
“What is the One Thing I can do in a week, such that by doing, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
“What is the One Thing I can do today, such that by doing, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
‘What is the One Thing I can do right now, such that by doing, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
Do that thing.
Making it a Habit
Making this a habit will transform your life. Everyday reask the Day and Now Question. Every Week reask the Month, week, day, and now question. Every Month Reask all the questions. Determine what your One Thing is to do everyday and focus on this the first 4 hours of your day. I am telling you, this will change your life.
Start small, think big. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. -Lao Tzu
Studies show we are more successful when we visualize the process required to achieve a goal. Only visualizing achieving the goal is better than nothing but much less powerful then visualizing the process.
We have a certain amount of Willpower per day, as the day runs on, we run low. Everytime we switch between a task, we deplete our willpower and it takes up to 11 minutes to get back into the flow of what we were doing before the distraction, so when working on your ONE Thing, do not multitask, and do not allow distractions.
When you commit to a single big yes, you must protect it by saying 1,000 small nos. When you determine what your One task is, in order to protect it, you must say no to the parties, the meetings, the phone calls, the texts, the needy friends, all of it.
Practice this spell. Read the book. I love you. Namasteezy.
Here is a great visual metaphor tying this together.