Posted by John Posey
This is the third post in a series of posts I’m calling, The Best Books I’ve Read. Included is a summary of one of the most enlightening and transformative books I’ve read with links and information on where to find it. And here’s the spoiler – none of the books are specific to investing. If you are looking for some material in that category, check out the Financial Freedom Field Guide.
The following book may challenge the way you’ve been conditioned to think and act in a way that opens your mind to new possibilities you may have never considered. Below I’ve summarized key takeaways but you need to read it for yourself to experience everything the book has to offer which I could never give justice to in a summary. What you find could be life-changing. At a minimum, it could give you some gift ideas for a graduation or birthday. I often choose the audiobook versions to listen to on the daily commute which has helped me fit books into my schedule. I hope you find this material as valuable as I have. Lastly, I do not receive any incentive to mention these books – I just think they are worth reading.
The One Thing by Gary Keller
What’s it about?: Focusing on one thing to achieve extraordinary results.
Who’s it for?: Ages 13 and up
What’s the one thing you can do such by doing it will make everything easier or unnecessary? This is it, the paramount question you must ask yourself as you make progress towards the things that you are trying to accomplish – one thing at a time. What’s your next best step to achieving the things important to you? Break it down into simple, singular actions – micro-actions. It’s about determining a clear path to a lesser goal and repeating the process.
Are you familiar with the 80/20 rule also known as the Pareto Principle? It says that 80% of your results are derived from 20% of your actions. The One Thing pulls together concepts that are in service of focusing on the 20% of your actions that lead to the desired results. Nuclear prioritization is another way to describe it and Gary’s personal goal is always to have a great day by noon. He says we don’t always have to fight off distraction, but nuclear prioritization is a way to protect yourself. In his experience, the morning is the best time to deal with energy, and suggests we set routines to get the things in our personal life nailed so we can shift our focus. Avoid being spontaneous before you’ve done what’s most important. Gary also explains why multi-tasking is a myth and explains the value of time blocking – the act of blocking off time to work on the most important tasks. Time blocking can have a significant impact on your life and is one of the most valuable concepts I gathered from this book. It is a method I now use regularly to ensure I get things done.
One of my favorite analogies shared in the book is about how life is like juggling five balls: work, family, health, friends, and integrity. You’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that 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. Read more on this concept here.
There are many more nuggets of gold in this book to be discovered beyond what I have mentioned. I highly recommend The One Thing to learn more about the surprisingly simple truths behind extraordinary results.
My favorite Keller quotes:
“Money won’t change you but it will reveal you.”
“Think big, aim high - Because what’s the alternative?”
“I want to be able to say I’m glad I did, not I wish I had.”
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