The One Thing

September 9th, 2013 by Rich Christiansen

This past month I’ve been reading a book by Gary Keller titled The ONE Thing. A mentor whose insights I greatly value and who knows that I am a bit of a proficiency and production nutcase gave this book to me. I love the modeling of Stephen Covey’s Circle of Influence and Circle of Concern. I love the 80/20 Rule that proves how 20% of our actions yield 80% of our results. My life and business experiences have shown me that picking the key thing to do is far more important than picking the right thing to do. As I was reading this book I became enamored with several of the concepts in it, particularly that of the domino.

Did you know that the world record for toppling dominoes was made up of over five million dominoes? If you could harvest all that kinetic energy you could power a small city! However, the domino statistic that really caught my attention was that a falling domino has the capacity to knock over a domino fifty percent bigger than itself. What that means is that if you knocked over one little domino and in turn it knocked over another domino fifty percent bigger than itself and that one knocked over a domino fifty percent bigger than itself then in five or six or seven turns you would be knocking down a domino the size of a door. By the time you get to the eighteenth one you’ve knocked over the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Twenty-three brings you to a domino the size of the Eiffel Tower. By thirty-one you have knocked over a domino that stands three thousand feet higher than Mount Everest and by the time you get to the fifty-seventh domino you have pushed over the moon. The physics hold true. It is astounding.

The things in your business which are the most important do not always scream the loudest. You know, it really is true. The majority of what you want comes from the minority of what we do. I’ve frequently talked about how inefficient multi-tasking is but they estimate that twenty percent of your daily capacity is lost in multi-tasking.

We too frequently focus on being busy than being productive. The key take-away from this is to always do the most important thing first in your life. Pick one thing, not even three things, pick one thing, and then do that one thing. Watch the domino effect that will follow. Success is not about doing everything right, it’s about doing the right thing.

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