Excerpts taken from the book ‘The One Thing’ by Jay Papasan & Gary Keller



First, you must adopt the mindset of someone seeking mastery. Mastery is a commitment to becoming your best, so to achieve extraordinary. Second, you must continually seek the very best ways of doing things. Nothing is more futile than doing your best using an approach that can’t deliver results equal to your effort. And last, you must be willing to be held accountable to doing everything you can to achieve your ONE Thing.

Ericsson essentially gave us our first real insights into mastery and birthed the idea of the “10000-hour rule.”in one study, elite violinists had separated themselves from all others by each accumulating more than 10000 hours of practicing by age 20. Now, if your ONE Thing relates to work and you put in 250 workdays a year (five days a week for fifty weeks), to keep pace on your mastery journey you’ll need to average four hours a day. That’s the amount of time you need to time block everyday for your ONE Thing.

Research that individuals with written goals were 39.5 percent more likely to succeed. But there’s more to the story. Individuals who wrote their goals and sent progress reports to friends were 76.7 percent more likely to achieve them. As effective as writing down your goals can be, simply sharing your progress toward your goals with someone regularly , even just a friend, makes you almost twice as effective.

Accountability works.


“The single most important difference between these amateurs and the three groups of elite performers is that the future elite performers seek out teachers and coaches and engage in supervised training, whereas the amateurs rarely in similar types of practice.”



It’s one thing to be distracted when you’re trying to focus, it’s another entirely to be hijacked before you even get to. The way to protect what you’ve said yes to and stay protective is to say no to anyone or anything that could derail you.


Peers will ask for your advice and help.Co-workers will want you on their team. Friends will request your assistance. Strangers will seek you out. Invitations and interruptions will come at you from everywhere imaginable.


No one knew how to go small better than Steve Jobs. In the two years after his return in 1997, he took the company from 350 products to ten.


The art of saying yes is, by default, the art of saying no. Saying yes to everyone is the same as saying yes to nothing. You can’t please everyone, so don’t try. Infact, when you try, the one person you absolutely won’t please is yourself.


Remember. Saying yes to your ONE thing is your top priority. As long as you can keep this in perspective, saying no to anything that keeps you from keeping your time block should become something you cant accept.


You can ask them a question that leads them to find the help they need elsewhere.

Now, if you do end up saying yes, there are a variety of creative ways you can deliver it. In other words, you can leverage your yeses. Help desks, support centers, and information resources couldn’t exist without this kind of strategic thinking. Preprinted scripts, frequently asked question pages or files, written explanations, recorded instructions, posted information, checklists, catalogs, directories, and prescheduled training classes can all be used to effectively say yes while still preserving your time block.


“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”


When you give your ONE Thing your most emphatic “Yes!” and vigorously say “No!” to the rest, extraordinary results become possible.


When you strive for greatness chaos is guaranteed to show up. In fact, other areas of your life may experience chaos in direct proportion to the time you put in on your ONE Thing.