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The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
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The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  2,514 ratings  ·  334 reviews
"The One Thing" explains the success habit to overcome the six lies that block our success, beat the seven thieves that steal time, and leverage the laws of purpose, priority, and productivity.
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Bard Productions (first published January 1st 2013)
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Patrick Hayslett
Over 2,600 books have been written about time management. Why? Because they're not working! There's something everyone is missing...

We have books, blogs, apps, pep talks and lots of personal effort. The deck should be stacked in our favor. So how does time end up managing us more than we manage it?

"The One Thing" is the first resource I've come across with an answer that works.

It helps you move forward with purpose instead of being reactive to stay afloat.

The book teaches you to build a big visi
Josh Pomerleau
Being in Gary Keller's mastermind group I have implemented "The One Thing" in my business for a few years before the book was written. Since our team has become focused on our "One Thing" it has completely changed our business and we have achieved massive year over year growth almost unseen in our industry. As our team gets larger and the business grows, it is more important than ever to protect our time and focus smaller to create the largest life and business possible. In a world full of compl ...more
I recently finishing reading the book, “The ONE Thing” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. As part of my book group I hosted a live call with Jay Papasan and members of the group last week. This book was very insightful. I judge books in this genre based on asking myself, “How much, if at all, will this book change my daily behavior?” Based on that criteria I would have to rank this book very high as it will change my behavior.

The premise of The ONE Thing is that at any given point in time, there is
W. Whalin
I read THE ONE THING and it is a well-crafted book. I didn’t need to use my yellow highlighter on it because the authors (or some graphic artist) underlined passages throughout on the text—as though the reader did it. The text is well-executed with summary bullet points at the end of each chapter and graphically pleasing with pull quotations.

Here’s my reason for giving this book two stars. The authors get commended for their execution but not their content. The contents are little but worn phras
Loy Machedo
Loy Machedo’s Book Review – The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan

I like thought provoking books especially those which are easy to read and light in its content. Gary Keller & Jay Papasan’s ‘The One Thing’ fits in beautifully within that framework of being engaging, interesting and substantive.

The Book starts off with a beautiful Russian Quote – If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one. And then the content moves on to revolve around one single theme ‘The One Thing’.

This was a decent read on how you can distill your life into "That One Thing" that will get you where you want to go. I thought overall it was a bit lacking in detail and did a lot of hand waving over the finer points of how to improve. A decent read, but there are better books on the topic out there.
Dark Matter
This and more reviews, interviews etc on Dark Matter Zine, an online magazine. This review was written by James Kennedy for Dark Matter Zine.

Self-help is fantasy for some people and both genres serve similar purposes for the reader. Both genres stimulate our imaginations and allow us to step into the shoes of someone much more powerful than ourselves. Both genres stimulate creativity and encourage lateral thinking, and both genres are capable of conjuring up idylli
This is a great book on Productivity. I'm simultaneously reading Canfield's "The Power of Focus." Halfway through I stopped reading it since I should just focus on The One Thing task! Ha ha. The metaphors and tips in this book about time are outstanding and can be easily implemented into your life. I wish everyone I worked with read this; and everyone I will work with. It's an easy read; I read it in four quick sittings whilst taking notes. I changed the way I looked at my time, calendars, and p ...more
Jary Welker
Gary Keller and Jay Papasan have hit a home run for me. I have read enough books on success and growth to know that in order to make a book stand out and be read there may need to be a premise or principle so different to entice a read to pick it up an finish it. Their's is the number "One."

While I have read many books on goal setting and picking priorities, this one some how stood out as I flipped through the chapters and saw the section "The Lies: They Mislead And Derail Us." Why that struck m
One of the authors, Gary Keller, was in my hometown of Orlando, Florida on April 22nd. I also had the privilege of having a quick overview back in February, with both authors, Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. I began the book after the first preview in February. Great read - fun with stories to drive home the data. Liked the quick chapters, as with business focused books, too much at a time simply overwhelms my ability to process the good stuff. I visited the website,, and many of the ...more
André Bueno
This book is really deep. While the title is easily marketable I felt the insight was really profound and one of those books I'll definitely need to reference throughout my journey.

- Extraordinary results are determined by how narrow you can make your focus
- Do fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects
- Small dominos can topple much larger dominos; stack them right
- Success is built sequentially
- Not everything deserves equal time
- Achievers always w
Jorge Fonseca
I disliked the book, it's a meshed up version other self help books, like "How to win friends and influence people" from Dale Carnegie; "Think and grow rich" from Napoleon Hill and others alike.
It's a boring read, you get the message 20 pages into the book, and the rest of the book is repetitive.

The reason I give it 2 starts is that at least the main message is interesting, focus in accomplish one thing at a time, forget everything else. That's it, I just gave you the whole book and saved you so
The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller

“The ONE Thing" is a very sound book on how to be more productive. Mr. Keller of Keller Williams Realty fame provides the public with a very accessible pragmatic book on how make better use of your time and hence more productive. This useful 240-page is broken out into three main parts: 1. The Lies: They Mislead and Derail Us, 2. The Truth: The Simple Path to Productivity, and 3. Extraordinary Results: Unlock
I find it hard on how to rate this book. I go back and forth on if I should rate it 2 or 4 stars, so I settled in the middle with 3.

It could be worth 4 stars, because it is a great anthology of what motivates us and keeps going towards our ONE thing.

It could be worth 2 stars, because it is really redundant and doesn't really show any great resources or research behind each figure.
Quite often the writer repeats others and doesn't own up to it. His repetition of the books title quickly grows annoying and I feel a lack of 'density' throughout the book. Even though the writing is rather boring and he presents nothing new, the book inspired me think about priorities and choices in my own life. This made me award an extra star.
Jean-Michel Ghoussoub
Awesome book. Easy to read yet powerful. Will compel you to take action and change your life for the better.
Bad writing. Don't waste your time.

The author takes a superficial (deluded, even) take in his case studies to make his point about the "One Thing". He uses Apple, Microsoft and Google for companies that do one thing and does it very well. For anyone who knows the history of these companies knows this is simplistic or outright misleading. There is repeated use of case studies in which the author is obviously ignorant of the industry and the relevant market and technological forces at play These
Wendy Papasan
Even though I read many iterations of this book, the final edition was a powerful read. If you are like me and lack focus in this chaotic world and long for a break from the distractions at work and home, this book is a lifesaver.
Raúl Romero h.
Like covey...simplified...reloaded. The one thing is purpose driven day to day action.
That Guy
Excellent book. Emphasizes focusing thoughts and actions on the one best, right thing (i.e., lead domino) that makes everything else easier or unnecessary. I hope to apply this to my business/life by using the clarifying question "what is the one thing I need to do this hour to accomplish my one thing today that will help me accomplish my one most important priority this week, this month, this quarter, this year, over the next five years?" It has also inspired me to reconsider my home office and ...more
Vishal Chalana
Amazing book. Changed the way I work! Highly recommended.
Manoj Arora
My learnings from the book
(1) If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either
(2) Go narrow and deep. Ignore all the things that you could do, and do only the things that you should do
(3) Not all things matter equally. Find those that matter the most.
(4) You only have so much time and energy. When you spread yourself out, you end up being thin.
(5) No one is self made. No one succeeds alone. No one. There are many people, wishes and hundreds of situations that must fall in place for you to suc
Great book on focus and the myth of the benefit of multi-tasking.

Some take-aways:

"When you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them."
"The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook." Willam James

The highly productive person's daily energy plan:
Meditate and pray for spiritual energy.
Eat right. Exercise and sleep sufficiently.

Big lives ride the powerful wave of chain reactions and are built sequentially.

Jerry Seinfeld: The secret to comedy is writing one joke per day.
Ray Martin
This Book is a very good summary of the most current thought in business literature. If you are only going to read one business book this year , this is a good choice.

I don't think the One Thing is a the solution to all problems but it does offer a great way to attack a problem and make sure the most important thing is done.

It also prevents decisions by committee and neutral non-committal decision. You have to pick one thing.

The First One Thing for everyone seems to be to organize your affairs
Brilliant pile of wisdom about individual purpose and getting to where we want to be.Written in really human tone and done in very pleasant graphic design.

"You are the first domino."
This is an excellent book! The author encourages you to not try to get more done but to get less done and be more effective by only doing the one thing that will have the biggest effect on your future. It's full of theory and practical wisdom to get you started on finding the one thing you should be doing in each area of your life: home, work, spiritual life, etc. Highly recommended! (I listened to the audio and while the performance was great, it was difficult wanting to highlight when unable t ...more
Deb Atchley
Just left KW Reunion in Dallas. We read the book all the way home. The simplicity of this book is so elegant. It seems to turn down the clutter/chaos in your head. We heard Gary Keller speak on Saturday afternoon and felt so inspired by his candor and clarity that we thought seriously about leaving the conference on day 1 just to reflect on this message alone. We've (in Keller Williams Realty organization) heard Gary give pearls before, but this has us renewed to get back to that ONE Thing! Than ...more
Chang Cancio
Here are my favorite THE ONE THING notes:


2. “Be like a postage stamp— stick to one thing until you get there.”
—Josh Billings

3. City Slickers
Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?
Mitch: No. What?
Curly: This. [He holds up one finger.]
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean sh*t.
Mitch: That’s great, but what’s the “one thing”?
Curly: That’s what you’ve
I am always drawn to these "silver bullet" books. The idea that some conceptual framework, yet unknown, will be unearthed and I will transformed into a focused, productive superman. Alas the eureka's are few and far between and nuggets gleaned do not sustain me long (which is why I am onto the next one).

The One Thing is a book about attaining success by focusing on one thing and sequentially building on it.
Each chapter does a good job of underlining and summarizing what the big ideas are.

Kevin Koskella
Game-changer. I loved the way this book was organized, and the philosophy presented in how to focus in the best way to get a lot done. Here's list I did of some of the main points of the book (starting with chapter 4 with the Big Ideas):

Chapter 4 Everything Matters Equally
Big Ideas
1. Go Small. Don’t focus on being busy; focus on being productive. Allow what matters most to drive your day. A good question to always ask is, is this something that will make money?
2. Go extreme. Once you’ve figured
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Business-Related ...: * Book # 7 The One Thing 1 1 Mar 29, 2015 01:08PM  
12 Books - Author...: The ONE Thing - October 2013 27 66 Nov 04, 2013 08:50AM  
  • The (7L) The Seven Levels of Communication: Go From Relationships to Referrals
  • The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
  • Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm
  • Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours
  • Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Business
  • The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure
  • The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask about Your Organization: An Inspiring Tool for Organizations and the People Who Lead Them
  • The Laws of Subtraction: Six Simple Rules for Winning in the Age of Excess Everything
  • The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals
  • Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World
  • The Business of Belief: How the World's Best Marketers, Designers, Salespeople, Coaches, Fundraisers, Educators, Entrepreneurs and Other Leaders Get Us to Believe
  • Jab, Jab, Jab,  Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World
  • Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal
  • So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
  • No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Guide to Time Productivity and Sanity
  • Super Rich : A Guide to having it all
  • Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day
  • Simple: Conquering the Crisis of Complexity
Professionally, Gary’s ONE Thing is teaching. He excelled as a real estate salesperson by teaching clients how to make great buying and selling decisions. As a real estate sales manager, he recruited agents through training and helped them build careers the same way. As co-founder and chairman of the board, he built Keller Williams Realty International from a single office in Austin, Texas, to one ...more
More about Gary Keller...
The Millionaire Real Estate Agent The Millionaire Real Estate Investor: Anyone Can Do It--Not Everyone Will Shift: The 12 Tactics Real Estate Agents Must Do Now to Win in a Down Market Your First Home: A Keller Williams Guide Green Your Home: A Keller Williams Guide

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“Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls-- family, health, friends, integrity-- are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.” 17 likes
“Success demands singleness of purpose.

You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects.

It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world.

Passion for something leads to disproportionate time practicing or working at it. That time spent eventually translates to skill, and when skill improves, results improve. Better results generally lead to more enjoyment, and more passion and more time is invested. It can be a virtuous cycle all the way to extraordinary results.

The ONE Thing shows up time and again in the lives of the successful because it’s a fundamental truth.

More than anything else, expertise tracks with hours invested.

The pursuit of mastery bears gifts.

When people look back on their lives, it is the things they have not done that generate the greatest regret...People’s actions may be troublesome initially; it is their inactions that plague them most with long-term feelings of regret.

Make sure every day you do what matters most. When you know what matters most, everything makes sense. When you don’t know what matters most, anything makes sense.”
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