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The One Thing

How to shoot for the moon and actually get there πŸš€

Whit Rasmussen
Whit Rasmussen
2 min read
The One Thing

What's the one thing you can do this week such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?

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You have only so much time and energy, so when you spread yourself out, you end up spread thin. You want your achievements to add up, but that actually takes subtraction, not addition. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects. The problem with trying to do too much is that even if it works, adding more to your work and your life without cutting anything brings a lot of bad with it: missed deadlines, disappointing results, high stress, long hours, lost sleep, poor diet, no exercise, and missed moments with family and friends - all in the name of going after something that is easier to get than you might imagine.

. . . from the first chapter of The One Thing by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

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Paradoxically, focusing on One Thing is multiplicative in nature.

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The Domino Effect

In 1983, Lorne Whitehead wrote in the American Journal of Physics that he'd discovered a domino is capable of toppling over a subsequent domino that is 50% larger. Years later, physicists proved Lorne's writing to be true when they began with a 2-inch domino fall and ended when the eighth domino, a 3-foot rendition, crashed to the ground. Β  Β 

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What if the experiment continued? The results are incredible.

  • 10th domino = as tall as quarterback Tom Brady
  • 18th domino = as tall as the Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • 23rd domino = taller than the Eiffel Tower
  • 31st domino = taller than Mount Everest by 3,000 feet
  • 57th domino = distance between the earth and the moon

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What we just described is the difference between linear and geometric progression. Linear = same size dominos falling. Geometric = larger and larger dominos falling.

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Every modern productivity savant has grown to appreciate a thorough to-do list. Neatly itemized, organized, and prioritized.

Setting aside time to make a daily list feels reflexive, almost like an afterthought.

But how often are those planning sessions predicated on the One Thing?

Linear thinking is easy, but it doesn't get us anywhere fast.

The One Thing = Geometric (to the moonπŸš€ as the kids say)

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What's the one thing you can do this week such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?

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Whit Rasmussen

Professional Private Equiteer πŸ“ˆ, Dabbling Photographer πŸ“Έ & Writer πŸ“, Obsessive CrossFitter πŸ‹οΈβ€β™‚οΈ, One-Time IRONMAN πŸ₯‡, Regular Reader πŸ“š, Perpetual Learner πŸ’‘, Habitual Optimist 😎