The ONE Thing- Find Your Purpose and Maximize Your Life! with National Best Selling Author Jay Papasan, Episode 029

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Show Notes

Jay Papasan, National Best Selling Author of The ONE Thing, talks to us about finding our purpose in life, narrowing down our priority, taking the steps to maximize it and ultimately reaching our goals. He also talks about the difference between willpower and discipline, and gives us research based evidence that multi-tasking is not effective.


What is The ONE Thing?

A book about asking yourself that question and giving yourself the time to answer it. Focus on the question “What is the ONE thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” So identify the one thing, not two or three. That you CAN do right now, not could or should. Powerful!




3 Steps to Find Your Purpose and Maximize Your Life (or health, or career)

  1. Learn how to identify your #1 priority.
  2. Commit to the activity.
  3. Learn how to make the activity a habit.

Jay explains that once you find that activity, to time-block it in your calendar. Preferably first thing in the morning, when willpower is still at it’s peak (more on that below). When you make that appointment with yourself in your calendar, you are 3 times more likely to achieve it. Listen in to get Jay’s tips on how to protect that time block, finding your bunker to do it in and enlisting help from others to hold you accountable.

“The minority of what we do brings us the majority of what we do.”

Two out of 10 people have identified their purpose. If you haven’t, if you can’t articulate it yet, just pick a direction. Whether it’s to help people or do certain types of activities. Start walking in that direction and start exploring and zero in on what your ONE thing is through trial and error.


Willpower vs. Discipline

Willpower is the ability to say yes to what you need to do and no to what you don’t. We have a limited supply of willpower daily, with it being at it’s peak in the morning and as the day goes by, willpower is depleted. Ever feel like just grabbing quick, easy, “bad for you” food at the end of a long, tough day instead of deciding to have the salad? That’s because willpower has been depleted.

So what do you do? Instead, focus on forming habits through discipline.

Discipline is training yourself to do something until it becomes a habit. People fail because they take on too many things or don’t do it long enough. Research shows that it takes on average 66 days to form a habit. There are many number of days out there, but based on research, it’s 66 days.


Is Multi-Tasking Effective?

Do the most important thing first. Most people want to cross the easy stuff off the list first. Then they want to do two or three things. Researchers call this switch-tasking. Your brain is not really multi-tasking, it’s bouncing back and forth.

Research shows that the cost of switching and refocusing daily is 28% of our day. We are losing more than a quarter of our day “multi-tasking”. What would you do if you could get a quarter of your day back?

The book identifies 6 areas of life (including IQ) that are affected by multi-tasking. Listen in to hear more, and pick up The ONE Thing to read all the details.


Jay’s Bio:

Before Jay Papasan co-authored the bestselling Millionaire Real Estate series with Gary Keller, he worked as an editor at Harper Collins Publishers. There he worked on such best-selling books as Body-for-Life by Bill Phillips and Go for the Goal by Mia Hamm. Jay also co-owns a successful real estate team affiliated with Keller Williams Realty with his wife Wendy in Austin, TX.


Links and Resources