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It’s Time To Discover Your ONE Thing

There is a Russian proverb that summarizes our struggle in pursuit of success: if you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.

When we’re ready to create change in our lives, and sometimes well before, there comes a point where we recognize our wheels are spinning and we are not nearly as productive as we wish we were.

Photo: Ellen McMahan | Source: Courtesy Photo

We ask ourselves does any of this matter, why do I not have more to show for the effort I put forth? But knowing how and where to even begin making changes can cause anxiety that often leads to further procrastination and feelings of defeat.

Reading and applying the simple strategies of The ONE Thing (Keller & Papasan, 2013) might be just the thing you need. Or maybe you need the bullet points. If you are ready to create change, the time is now. This article will summarize it for you and get you on the right track.


The art of ‘going small’

There is a Russian proverb that summarizes our struggle to be productive in our pursuit for success. It claims that if you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.

“There is a Russian proverb that summarizes our struggle to be productive in our pursuit for success. It claims that if you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.”

You may find yourself in this place of wanting fewer distractions and needing less burdens. Between the 24/7 onslaught of notifications, text messages, online interactions, meetings, family demands, and personal pursuits, life is surely difficult to juggle.

Oftentimes the fall out is that we don’t do our best work, we miss deadlines, make less income and experience fewer opportunities to succeed. But you also desire more for your life–more results, greater income, and an improved lifestyle. You dream of time freedom for yourself and the ones most dear to you.

Learning the art of “going small” gives you the best chance to succeed in the areas that are most important. Ignoring all the things you could do and dialing in to accomplish what you should do will help you to identify that things that matter most.

The extraordinary results you so strongly desire are “directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.”

With some personal reflection and attention to your priorities, this simplistic read will inspire you to cut through unnecessary clutter, do more in less time, lower stress and overwhelm, keep on task, and reach goals that matter to you. And all with momentum that will renew your energy and passions.

The method of The One Thing will challenge you to think differently by asking “What’s the one thing you can do this week such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?”


Discovering your ‘ONE thing’

Gary Keller, the author of The One Thing, has been remarkably successful in real estate by educating clients on how to make the best home-buying-and-selling decisions. The cofounder and chairman of the board of Keller Williams realty International, he built the organization from a single office in Texas to later become the #1 real estate company in the United States.

Keller uses his remarkable skills as a teacher, coach, and trainer in “teaching people how to think the way they need to think so they can do what they need to do when they need to do it, so they can get what they want when they want it.”

Keller is also well known for books geared toward small business owners and entrepreneurs: The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, and SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times. He has assisted countless individuals experience astonishing results by narrowing their focus to determine their own ONE Thing.

On the other hand, his business partner Jay Papasan is the executive editor and VP of Publishing at Keller Williams Realty and makes his ONE Thing writing. Passionate about sharing ideas in his books, Papasan speaks regularly at conventions and training events and is a Master Faculty member of the Keller Williams University International.

A quick read, or one that could be studied slowly in a group setting, Keller and Papasan include teachings on the Domino Effect, where small successes create momentum; lies and how they can mislead and derail us; the simple path to productivity; and extraordinary results: unlocking possibilities within you.

A refreshing and bite-sized approach to personal development, The ONE Thing includes examples of incredibly successful business and world leaders, artists and novelists, who have demonstrated the power of “going small” to achieve great results. All areas of one’s life are addressed, to include finances, spiritual life, health, business, job, and relationships. Readers will have an “aha” moment and begin to find clarity to dial in on how to create the life they dream of.


The undeniable masterwork of The One Thing

The ONE Thing has a single greatest strength as an academic work, but useful for the entrepreneur needing guidance. It is chock full of tools and skills transferable to most any individual, leader, employee, or mentor.

Whether you are looking to level up your personal life, or to lead a larger group to greatness, Keller and Papasan’s work does not disappoint. There are natural breaks between chapters to allow for reflection or breakout discussion groups in a workshop format. One downside of the work is that it is limited to the most general findings in order to keep the book concise. The research that led to this book is incredibly extensive and can be further enjoyed at The1Thing.com where readers will find additional resources, video, and factoids.

A refreshing and enjoyable read, your time will not be wasted as The ONE Thing delivers a punch. It is sure to impact your mindset, your views of personal success, and help you identify what you ought to eliminate or add to your life, achieving the results you want—both less and more. Useful for graduating college students entering the workforce, budding entrepreneurs, those changing careers, or individuals curious about becoming the best version of themselves.

Discover your ONE Thing.


Ellen McMahan, a growing entrepreneur, has over 20 years of coaching experience, on the pool deck, in the classroom, and in health. She helps average people like herself set and reach their goals, then empower them to pay if forward.


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