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Summary of the Book “The One Thing”

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My name is Hafsa. A content creator and blogger. I'm obsessed with traveling and reading.

Do innovative work instead of hard work

The One Thing

The One Thing

“The One Thing.”

In today’s time, we have many different options in front of us. Whether it is to take daily decisions or choose a career for life, the mind wishes that we should do this too, do that too. The majority of people are unsure of what one thing they should pay attention to, that is why they always remain confused, whether it is the productivity of daily life or success of life long. It does not come from doing ten different things but by focusing on or doing one thing. In simple language, this book teaches us to do innovative work instead of hard work.

Book Summary


The One Thing is the fundamental concept of this book. Here, one thing means the most important things for us or can create great results by focusing on our efforts. The author believes that we don’t need to do many things for success; instead, we should achieve mastery in our one thing, like Ronaldo. For him, his One thing is just football. Peace for the Dalai Lama, for Elon Musk better future for humanity. So, if these people had also not followed their One thing, these people also would be doing something that they do not like. And you can use the same thing to choose your daily decisions or tasks. So, every day you should ask yourself, what is the one thing that is most important for me to do? You can also take the help of this quote to understand one thing properly.” If you try to chase two rabbits at a time, you will not catch either one.”


The author takes the help of dominoes in this idea. He says that like a Dominoes can drop another domino twice its size; in the same way, we can achieve anything significant in life by making small efforts every day or taking steps in the direction. Now this concept may sound a bit simple to you. But the author explains the power of the domino effect through this realistic figure that we judge the starting domino because it is only 2 inches. Suppose you put the same domino in a line by doubling the size each time according to its effect. So, the height of the fifty-seven dominoes will equal the distance from the earth to the moon. I hope you understand the power of consistency, and you will use this effect for your habits and daily work.


So, at this point, the author is talking about those three biggest lies. That either we always hear from others or follow as truth.

  • Lie(a) Everything matters equally. Equality is essential for justice and human rights, but everything is not equally important in personal life. So, it doesn’t matter how the teacher gives marks; two students can never be equal. Therefore, equality is a lie. Whenever people are in a hurry, they find every task equally important. Then they waste both time and energy by viewing this critical task.
  • Lie(b) Multitasking is productive. Most people consider multitasking as reliable, while this is a lie because studies have shown that the human brain cannot focus equally on different tasks. But still, people do multitasking, thinking that they will finish various tasks in less time. But the result is maybe unproductive, or they take more time.
  • Lie (C) A Balanced Life. According to the author, Balanced Life is a lie. If you want extraordinary results or achieve something unique in life, somewhere, you will have to sacrifice your life a little. On the other hand, if you keep busy with the small things of daily life and give less time to your daily goals, you will achieve your purpose later. But you cannot walk with an equal balance of both.


Our purpose sets our priorities, and our productivity depends on our actions. Once we get what we want in life, then with time, our motivation also gets over. Martin Seligman, Former President of the American Psychological Association, believes that our happiness depends on five factors: positive emotion, pleasure, achievement, relationship, engagement, and meaning. Happiness will happen when you have a meaningful life purpose when your daily actions fulfill your purpose. So, joy will be with you for a long time.

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Your goal is powerless without priority. Yes, you must set your priorities to achieve your purpose and move towards it. And it would be best if you acted by keeping your priorities in mind. If you are engaged on social media instead of doing your work, then subconsciously, your priority is social media, not your work, which is a wrong priority. So, the best way is that your priority should be in line with your purpose. Your priority should be that which will help you in achieving your life purpose in the long term.


A person’s success does not depend on his working hours but productivity; the person is successful as productive or will be. Productive people focus only on their most important tasks rather than multitasking or doing unimportant tasks. So, to become more effective in less time, you can plan your time with the help of time blocking.


Here author means by focusing on a question that you should ask yourself your focusing question every day. For example, what is that one thing? After doing it, all the other things will either become easy or unnecessary. Make a habit of asking questions to yourself every day. You will be able to achieve your success and increase your focus because by asking this question, your brain focuses only on that vital thing that will give you the most results.


That is, three thieves.

  • Thief (A) you can’t say no. In order not to become destructive in the eyes of others, say yes more than no to others even if they are not wasting their own time. While sometimes, saying yes to others is like saying no to your feelings and opinions or goals. Now here, the author is not telling us to say no to everyone or work; instead, we only have to say yes to those things which are important and say no to those things which are either unimportant or wasting our time and energy.
  • Thief (B) Your Poor Health Habits. If you do not take care of your health, you will not survive healthily for much time. Lousy health also reduces the energy of our body and mind. But some people sacrifice their health for success. He works awake during the whole night. They do not rest their minds and sleep to their bodies; they miss their meals and completely ignore exercise. But the real success is also good health along with wealth. So along with doing physical activity daily, follow a healthy diet and lifestyle.
  • Thief (C) Your environment doesn’t support your goals. Along with our inner soul or thoughts, our external environment is also essential, which helps in achieving our goals. Here environment means the area around us, situation, weather, or people. Including our family and friends too. If your environment is wrong, then your performance will also suffer. So you should always be in contact with people who support your goals or influence you towards positivity and productivity, and if you feel that there are no people around you who support your goals or give the right advice. You can join online groups related to success, read books, blogs or watch videos related to it on YouTube.

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