I recently went on a trip to the West Coast. Right before the trip, I had just finished the book I had been reading for a while, and I needed a new one to keep me busy on the long flight. So with a few hours to kill in the airport, I went to one of those Hudson News convenient stores that overcharges for everything and searched for an interesting looking book.
Next thing I knew I was spending a fortune on a paperback I could have bought on Amazon for half the price – and with free expedited shipping.
I thought to myself: What highway robbery. The book was “The One Thing” by Gary Keller, and it didn’t appear to be anything too extraordinary from the outside… Typical cover, typical creative graphics, typical sounding concept… Nonetheless, something made me buy it.
And now I know why they warn you to never judge a book by its cover. Little did I know how strong of an impact that book – the book I had just paid an arm and a leg for – would have on me and my career. I couldn’t possibly have known, just based off its unimposing cover, how much it would influence the way I would handle the rest of my offseason. Suddenly it no longer bothered me how much I had paid for this book… because to me, it’s worth its weight in gold.
The book is called “The One Thing” and is written by a man named Gary Keller. It has officially become one of my favorite books of all time – and I’d like to think I read a lot. (As a high school draftee, I didn’t have the opportunity to further my education at a four-year university, so I take a few classes in the offseason and read as much as I possibly can.)
A quote from the book that really affected me – and that will now remain a part of my build-up for as long as I can imagine – was the following: “Multitasking is a lie.” As a pitcher trying to climb up the ranks, there is a lot for me to work on: mechanics (2-3 things), adding/subtracting to my arsenal, etc. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming, but only if you allow it too. But the quote struck me and made me realize: Why try to improve upon five things at once instead of focusing on the most important one first and then moving on to the next?
Two other quotes from the book that impacted me are the following:
“Success is sequential, not simultaneous.”
“Doing the most important thing is always the most important thing.”
These quotes rang true to me. They have guided my approach to the last month of my offseason, and I’m confident they will continue to shape my career – and also my life – in the years to come.
Think about them. How can they relate to your life?
Every “to-do” list has to have one thing that is the most important. Everything is not equal; that’s impossible. When you break it down and weigh your priorities, there’s got to be “The One Thing” that requires more immediate attention than the rest. That is the main concept I took away from the book, and I highly recommend the book, as it may have a similar effect on you.