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The ONE Thing | Smart Poker Study Podcast #3


Sky Matsuhashi

on January 5, 2016

‘The ONE Thing' is one of the best book I've ever read.  So good in fact that I read it twice in 2015, and I'm planning on reading it again before the WSOP this summer.

Download and listen to this episode as you follow along below.


The ONE Thing, Podcast #3

Podcast Mission

At the end of this podcast you will understand why you need to focus on ONE Thing at a time for ultimate success in poker and in life.  And, you’ll have a question that you can ask yourself to guide your actions on a day to day basis for ultimate productivity.

Ultra Successful People

Balance in life just isn't necessary.  Some of the most successful people we know dedicated their lives to just ONE Thing to the exclusion of everything else:  Michael Jordan (playing basketball), Tiger Woods (swinging the golf club), Eddie Van Halen (playing guitar), Warren Buffet (analyzing companies), Stephen King (writing), In & Out (making burgers).

5 Big Takeaways from The ONE Thing

Big Takeaway: The 80/20 Principle

80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.  This means we need to focus on a small number of things that will produce most of our results.  Not everything matters equally, and we need to say no to the unimportant things and say yes to the few things that will move the needle the furthest.

Big Takeaway: The Domino Effect

A domino can knock over another domino that’s 50% bigger than itself.  You’re not going to be able to topple that humongous domino of poker excellence quickly or easily.  But if you start with small dominoes, work on building your game in smart incremental steps and choose specific topics that build upon each other, over time you’ll eventually get to the point where you can topple that huge mountain-sized domino you’re striving for.

Big Takeaway: The Lie of Will Power Always Being on Will Call

Our reservoir of will power is refilled when we wake up each day, then slowly depletes as the day wears on.  That’s why we often get so much done early in the day, then start to goof off or make bad decisions late in the day.  The big lesson here is to do the ONE Thing every day nice and early before anything else.

Big Takeaway: The Lie of Discipline

Living a “disciplined life” is nothing more than instilling habits in your life, and it takes an average of 67 days to firmly root a new habit in your life.  Want to get healthy, learn a language, be a writer, or improve your poker game?  Instill a habit of exercise, speaking practice, writing, studying poker every day for 67 days in a row.  So if you want “discipline”, build a habit, get work done, be productive and it will look like discipline to the outside world.

Big Takeaway: The Focusing Question

These first four takeaways are part of the book’s central tenant, the Focusing Question.  Everything that we decide to do from moment to moment should be in answer to this question:

The ONE Thing

This one simple question, if asked with a clear goal in mind, will lead us to the ONE Thing that we need to do right now before all the others.  That ONE Thing should make it easier or unnecessary to do other things.  It’s the first step in a process of steps to achieving our goals and living a productive life.

The ONE Thing YouTube Channel

If you're interested in seeing webinars showing how the ONE Thing can be applied to other aspects of life, check out their YouTube Channel.

Podcast Challenge

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode: each day over the next week, first thing in the morning, ask yourself the focusing question, and get that ONE Thing done ASAP.  You’ll feel so much better and more accomplished each day if you put this into practice.  Once again, the Focusing Question is:

What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?


Sky Matsuhashi

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