One evening an elder Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside all people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us. One is Fear. It carries anxiety, concern, uncertainty, hesitancy, indecision and inaction. The other is Faith. It brings calm, conviction, confidence, enthusiasm, decisiveness, excitement and action.” The grandson thought about it for a moment and then meekly asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.”
– From “The ONE Thing” by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan
Our first editorial of 2018 dealt (perhaps predictably) with New Year’s resolutions. It was a positive editorial, encouraging those among us who had vowed to improve themselves in the coming months.
And yet, the editorial included these sobering realities: Within one week, meaning today, Jan. 8, fully 25 percent of all resolutions already will have gone by the wayside. By the close of this calendar year, more than 90 percent of our best intentions will have been abandoned.
Already many of the best-intentioned among us are reverting to past patterns of over-committing, over-extending, over-booking and generally feeling overwhelmed.
We bring some good news: There is accumulating evidence that we can increase dramatically our efforts at self-improvement and the likelihood of sustainable success.
We must confess that we are lifelong students of self-help literature, management consultants, efficiency experts, motivational gurus, peak performance coaches, and the entire panoply – an industry, really – of resources that purport to help us help ourselves. Indeed, our publisher even co-authored a best-selling book on the subject (“Self-Made in America” by John McCormack and David R. Legge).
And yet it is rare that we encounter a message that is so insightful, so practical, and so elegantly written and easily understood that we would feel remiss if we did not share it with you, our readers.
We refer to “The ONE Thing” (quoted above), which became a Wall Street Journal No. 1 best-seller, won 12 book awards, was translated into 26 languages, and made 250 best-seller list appearances. It has become the classic that it deserves to be.
The author, Gary Keller, knows of what he writes. He is chairman of the board and co-founder of Keller Williams Realty, Inc., which he built from a small office in Austin, Texas, into the largest real estate company in the world.
Mr. Keller’s premise is simple, but counterintuitive: “When you want the absolute best chance to succeed at anything you want, your approach should always be the same. Go small. … Most people think it is just the opposite. They think big success is time consuming and complicated. As a result, their calendars and to-do lists become overloaded and overwhelming ….
“Unaware that big success comes when we do a few things well, they get lost trying to do too much and in the end accomplish too little.”
Mr. Keller is in large measure a contrarian – multitasking does not work, discipline is overrated, do not order from the menu, and always challenge bromides such as “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” (He quotes Andrew Carnegie, who would become the second richest man in history: “It is trying to carry too many baskets that breaks most eggs in this country.”)
Certainly, we cannot do this book justice in this limited space, but we can do two things:
1) We will try to make arrangements with its publisher, Bard Press, to allow us in coming weeks to serialize a few chapters in the Compass; and,
2) During a holiday trip to Florida, Mr. Legge, publisher of the Cayman Compass, was able to purchase 10 hardcover copies of “The ONE Thing.” Those copies are now at the reception desk at the Compass Centre (on Shedden Road). They are available, without cost, to the first 10 people who walk through our door requesting a copy.
Consider it a small holiday gift – not overly costly but of enormous value.