Slow Reader Friday: The ONE Thing


The September Book Club Selection is up! It’s a NOVEL! Go here to learn the details!

Good morning, Book Club Fans! This month’s book, by Gary Keller (Yes, one of the founders of that huge realty company named Keller-Williams!), first made it onto my “radar screen” when I was making out my Amazon.com Christmas wish list last year. I am a sucker for intriguing titles and thus, I put it on my wish list. Thankfully, my brother gave it to me for Christmas! But, true to nature, I just got around to reading it this summer.

I wish I had read it sooner.

If you’re not sure what you’re supposed to be doing with yourself while on this planet or you’re incredibly dissatisfied with your current life, this book will crystallize what you should be doing and help you figure out how to do it.

Not only that, it will also help you figure out how to do it better than anyone else. And yet, the concepts in this book are remarkably simple to adopt into your everyday life.

Keller starts the book by debunking a lot of myths we have about productivity and being the best at something in our society by pointing out, for example, that multi-tasking is not what great leaders and innovators do.  He also debunks the idea of having a balanced life and an organized life. (That last part made me feel SO much better!) If you read it for no other reason than to see why these things are myths, read it!

I was happy to see that Keller places spirituality as the top priority in this book and that spending time with family is also a high priority. While I agree with 80 to 90% of what he writes and plan to adopt a lot of his practices for my own life, I do have a few reservations: A) If you have really young children in your home, some of his time-blocking ideas are probably not going to be very practical right now. B) Keller suggests working on 8 different areas of your life. I felt like some of were redundant for my lifestyle and yet some of my priorities are completely left out, such as home maintenance and housekeeping! I guess if you’re a millionaire, one doesn’t have to worry about such mundane stuff. C) He puts taking care of personal wants and desires pretty high and as a Christian, I would have liked to see it fall to a lower priority. It might be easy for some to get a little self-centered with his description of the personal area.

So, my suggestion is to make those 8 areas what you think have to be the priorities in your life. I do think that attending to your spiritual growth and needs is vital to a happy life and helps drive a lot of productivity in other areas of your life. I also agree with Keller about taking care of your body being the next highest priority because if your body gives out, you’re not going to be very productive in any area of your life!

Here are a few quotes that stood out to me:

1. “The Focusing Question collapses all possible questions into one: ‘What’s the ONE thing I can do, such by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?'”

2. “The results (of this study) suggest that it takes an average of 66 days to acquire a new habit. The full range was 18 to 254 days, but the 66 days represented a sweet spot–with easier behaviors taking fewer days on average and tough ones taking longer. Self-help circles tend to preach that it takes 21 days to make a change, but modern science doesn’t back that up.”

3. “The dairy farmer doesn’t get to knock off at any certain time; he goes home when the cows have been milked. It’s the same for any position in any profession where results matter. The most productive people work on event time. They don’t quit until their ONE thing is done.”

There is so much valuable information in this book that it’s probably smart to re-read it every year. And I never say that. Keller brings in quotes from famous successful people, uses research from all fields to debunk myths about the use of our time, and give examples of how the focusing question works from all walks of life in all areas of life. He believes that living with a big dream (a dream that only you can fulfill) and living that dream as purposefully and as masterfully as you can will make you ultimately happy–not fame and fortune. And yet, this book is remarkably simple to implement into anyone’s life.

Are you wishing you’d read the book??? Go here to get the book.

Monday’s Post: Does your college have a mate?

You Might Also Like: Slow Reader Friday: Songs in the Key of Solomon; Slow Reader Friday: Jesus, The One and Only; and Slow Reader Friday: Killing Jesus

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2014 at 10:50 am and is filed under Slow Reader Friday. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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