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The ONE Thing: The Six Lies Between You And Success

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In Gary Keller’s book, The ONE Thing, he talks about the lies that we tell ourselves based upon our beliefs.  We tend to act on what we believe even when what we believe is wrong or not good.  We gain these beliefs of myths and mistruths because they are thrown around so loosely and we are exposed to them all the time.  Here are the six lies we tell ourselves that stands between us and success.

Lie 1:  Everything Matters Equally

There is no equality…it is a lie.  When it comes to what we need to get done, we tend to say things are equal in importance.  When everything begins to feel urgent and important, we tend to say everything is equal.  We tend to create a To-Do list of all the things we need to get done.  Instead of a To-Do list, Mr. Keller is suggesting a Success list.  This is a list of things that WILL produce extraordinary results.  These lists tend to be short, aim you in the right direction, and are an organized directive.  The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 Rule, can help you identify your success list and show you that everything does NOT matter equally.

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” — Johan Wolgang von Goethe

Lie 2:  Multitasking

People tend to pride themselves on their ability to multitask, but this is a lie.  We can do two things at once, but we can’t focus on two things at once.  Sure, it is easy to walk and chew gum.  But you can’t focus on two math problems effectively, or troubleshoot 3 problems at once.  When we try to do too many focusing things at once, we tend to forget something that we should do.  Multitasking is neither effective or efficient.  It takes time for your brain to jump from one task to another, and there is no guarantee that you will pick up exactly where you left off.  This task switching comes at the cost of time and effectiveness.  Drop believing that you can multitask and spend your time focusing on one thing at a time.

“To do two things at once is to do neither.” —Pubilius Syrus

Lie 3:  A Disciplined Life

People tend to believe that the “successful person” is a “disciplined person” who leads a “disciplined life.”   It is true that a “successful person” needs discipline, but they only need enough discipline to establish a positive habit.  With positive habits, a person can become successful.  When you see someone who you feel is disciplined, you are seeing a person who has trained a few positive habits into their lives.  The goal here is to identify the right habits to bring about success and then have enough discipline to establish that habit.  With these habits, you can lead a simpler life.  You will know what you need to do and what you don’t need to do.  Find enough discipline to build that positive habit and success will be within your grasp.

“The hard stuff becomes habit, and habit makes the hard stuff easy.” –Richard Keller

Lie 4:  Willpower Is Always On Will-Call

Willpower is like the power bar on your phone.  It can start out fully charged, but as you use it, you lose it.  You charge your willpower with food and rest.  If recharged properly, we start each day fully charged.  As the day goes on, we use our willpower,  draining our supply.  After we have depleted our supply of our willpower for the day, we go back to our default settings.  The default settings are the things you do when you don’t feel like thinking anymore.  Your default settings are key to your success.  Until you can work on, and change, your default settings to positive ones, plan to do your most important work when your willpower is high.  This is generally earlier in the day when it has not had much time to be depleted.  

“Make what matters the most a priority when your willpower is high.” —Richard Keller

Lie 5:  A Balanced Life

We never, ever, reach a balanced life.  There is no such thing as “balanced.”  There is only “balancing.”  Life is one big balancing act.  Being balanced is NOT something we achieve…it is something that we are constantly doing.  The pursuit of a balanced life means we are never going to the extremes.  The problem with this is that the magic happens in the extremes.  And we all want magic in our lives.  The balancing act says that once you go to the extremes, you have to counter-balance to come back.

“Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and integrity. And you’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls—family, health, friends, integrity—are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.” — James Patterson from Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas

Lie 6:  Big Is Bad

Megaphobia is the irrational fear of big.  People are afraid to think big because of the fear of failure.  If they dream too big, they are afraid they will never reach their goals, so they decide to dream small.  But dreaming and thinking big is essential if you want to get extraordinary results.  When you aim for big, you know you have to work harder to get big.  While on that journey to get big, you get bigger.  To get big requires growth, so by the time you arrive, you are big.  Don’t be afraid to act big and think bold.  Big gives you the best chance at extraordinary results.

“Ignore the menu in life and order your own creations.”  —Richard Keller

Final Thoughts:

In order to reach success in life, we have to have a success mindset.  The only way to establish a successful mindset is to refuse to let these six lies ruin your success.  Be aware of them and look honestly at yourself when striving for success.  Are you telling yourself these lies?  If you are, stop that train of thought, come back to reality, and apply what you know to be the truth.  It is the quickest way to success.  Stay mindful of these six lies as being lies and don’t allow them to hold you back!!!

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