Smash together Andy Andrews focus, Grand Cardone passion and you get a book that looks something like “The ONE Thing” from authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. The audiobook narration is performed by both Timothy Miller and Claire Hamilton. Andy Andrews comes out in the books direction of focusing one’s attention on the small things and do them exceptionally well, if you are doing this already you are one step closer to finding the ONE Thing. The authors also have a passion for their methods and believe wholeheartedly that if you follow them you will succeed; similar to the enthusiasm exuded by Grant Cardone. If you are looking for that ONE thing, or if you have found it and want to improve it, you will enjoy the direction and approaches given in this book.
Let me say up front in this review that there is not simply One Thing that needs to be discovered and focused on; not at all. You will have many ONE things that you will need to divide up your allotted time too such as work, family, self, spiritual, and body. In each of these subjects, along with other focuses, you will want to find the ONE Thing and master it. Mastering a subject takes passion, dedication, and discipline. The authors use a concept called time blocking for the given subjects where a person blocks out time in their calendars instead of using the traditional to-do list or time management tools; which are not well suited for this type of focused time. Blocked time is scared and should not be given up to other distractions for any reason. However, there are exceptions to every rule.
One of the more interesting spins in the ONE Thing is when it stated that once you discover the ONE Thing, go big with it; Grant Cardone style. Go 10x, 20x or 100x if needed. Go all in, never surrender, make it yours. So, first you narrow down all your options to discover the ONE Thing by throwing away the empty time-wasting chaff (TV, Internet, entertainment). Once the chaff is gone, keep refining the gold nugget (your ONE Thing) until it is pure as pure can be. When you have accomplished this, you can say that you have truly master that domain in your life, subject, or skill. Most of us who are more mature know that the more one studies and refines a skill or trait, the more one realizes you still have much to learn about it. This is not a once and done silver-bullet methodology; one does not exist. It is a continuous life-long process that potentially changes as you grow and mature or when interests change. As many will tell you in the product market, something capable of doing everything does them all mediocrely. If you do the ONE Thing, you can master it and these are the things that drive success; which is not only financial. Let me paraphrase the authors when they say that accomplishing more things in a worse fashion is not better than doing one thing exceptionally. Most of us desire to accomplish as many things as we can in a given period of time. This is how we have all been taught by productivity and time management people. The ONE Thing changes that focus and turns it on its head.
I will say that I was quite impressed with the third-party research along with the many examples given in the book. Many of the most famous people and companies found their ONE Thing and attacked it will their whole being. Companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft all found leveraged the concept of doing that one thing and doing it so well there was little competition. Although, for business reasons, many companies have had to expand on that ONE Thing, however the core of their business often remains focused. When a company loses that ONE Thing, it often does not take long before it either goes back to it or they go out of business. I think of companies like IBM and Cisco (technology companies) as two that are refocusing their attention back on their ONE Thing. This is not to say that a company or person cannot reinvent themselves and find a new ONE Thing, not at all.
Just a side note, the book contains at least a few quotes where vulgar language is used. If you are offended by such, please note they are present in this work. It would have been rather easy to beep out the words, but this was not done.
Let me speak briefly about the audiobook. Firstly, many audiobooks published on Audible now provide downloadable materials (PDF) for any referenced figures or items that may be difficult to transmit by voice alone. The ONE Thing only references their website when referring to examples, tables, or figures. This book is not like some audiobooks where you cannot listen to the material without the additional referenced items in front of you, but it would have been nice to have a single PDF available from Audible for this purpose. Although the overall audio narration was done very well, I personally did not care for the use of dual narrators. I would have like to have had one or the other read the entire book. When they switched between the two, it would often bring me out of the story and it would take me some time to refocus on what I was listening too. I also thought the book could have done without the musical interludes between chapters. It is nice to have breaks, but a simple extended pause could have substituted instead. Again, these are simply preferences that I would change, and none of them should make you questions whether to listen to the book or not. There were no noticeable audio artifacts during my listening.
If you are lost in the direction your life is going, or if you want to just focus more on the ONE Thing, I would recommend you pick up this book and give it a listen. If anything, it is something that may just motivate you to find that ONE Thing and change your life forever.