The ONE Thing (Gary Keller)

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

This was an extremely gratifying and fast read, to the point. If you chase two rabbits at the same time, you won’t have a chance at getting either of them.

This book cleans up with one central myth: that doing more at the same time will be more productive.

Tom Hopkins wrote a similar book in the 1980s: “The Official Guide to Success”.  It taught us the Golden Rule of success:

“The ONE Thing” is similar – and takes Hopkins’ advice further by showing us how to stretch ourselves to get bigger as we initially thought possible.

The notion to abandon any complex, elaborate plans and focus on one simple step at a time – in the example above the first small domino stone – can also be found in Jeff Olson’s Slight Edge.

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Paul Stanley: Face The Music

Many people wear masks. They hide what they fear and interact with the outside world through a cover, always worried about exposing their weaknesses. People that are broke pretend to be successful. They enter a relationship even though they are lonely inside and are afraid to bond. They talk in phrases without saying what is really on their mind.

In “Face the Music”, Paul Stanley, lead guitarist of KISS, talks about his own fear and the mask he chose to cover up that perceived flaw. He was born with only one functional ear; the other ear was deformed, and children used to tease him mercilessly.

He chose the make-up of KISS as a way to cover up his insecurity, only to realize later on that he can not run away from himself. He managed to heal himself by first confronting his fear and then helping others to accept themselves.

This lonely kid wanted to do that, and this lonely kid ended up doing that. I made my own reality. The character I created— the Starchild— would go up on stage and be that guy, the superhero, as opposed to the person I really was.

“We are all pretty bizarre, some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.” – Emilio Estevez ‘The Breakfast Club’

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Michael Ende: Momo

This book is one of my all-time favorites. I read it with 10 years within 2.5 hours (on the back seat of our car on the highway, I still remember) and I have read it again 15 years later.

The world Michael Ende designs in this book is for all ages. You can tell it your kids, you can read it yourself.

“Momo” is about embracing the moment, spending time with your friends and live your life according to your own ideas, not somebody else’s blueprint.

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James Altucher: Choose Yourself

This is just the right book to start off 2015. Why? Because it teaches you how to do what YOU really like to do. I enjoyed it tremendously.

Mike Cernovich from Danger and Play had recommended it as one of the three books every man must read. Naturally, that got me curious.

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Gene Simmons: Kiss and Make-up

Kiss and Make-Up(click here to learn more)

Gene Simmons was my name. I gave myself that name, I wasn’t given the name. There are many things in life that we don’t have control over. We are born into a race and nationality. We are raised to follow a certain religion. We are raised to speak a certain language. We are given a first and last name by our parents. We don’t have any choice in the matter. And then we are expected to marry and have children, within our religion and our race. I would have none of it. I would decide how I would live my life. Who I would share my bed with. And I damn well couldn’t care less what anyone else thought. At the end of my life, I will have done or attempted anything I ever wanted to do. I will have no regrets. I will not think “I woulda, coulda, shoulda …”

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Victor Pride: 30 Days Of Discipline

30 Days of Discipline

Click here to view more details

We don’t rise to the occasion, we fall back onto the level of our training.

after Antilochos

By the end of 2013, I was in a bit of a funk. My dating life was improving, but I felt “stuck” in many ways.

Mentally and professionally

I was not sure anymore whether working in science was what I truly wanted. More and more, I saw the experiments in the lab as mechanical busy work.

I did not want to face my life heads-on, so I just made myself comfortable behind routines and habits.

I thought I was safe. But I was dieing every day a bit more…

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Aaron Clarey: Bachelor Pad Economics

The most important thing in life is… Other People.

Aaron Clarey

This book is full of wisdom that accompanies you from the age you enter college until the age you die. I have yet to find a book with that broad of a range of topics. It gives advice from education and chosing a career to investment, legal matters, family and kids – including end of life planning.

The theme of the book is economics, and it gives you a complete roadmap to your financial planning. This is one of – if not the – most important parts of your life. Without good financial habits and forethought, you won’t be able to do much at all.

Underneath the economical aspect, however, lies a deeper truth. Our life is not about amassing “stuff”. It is about spending time.

Time for yourself and your hobbies.

Time to spend with family and friends. Other people.

We have one – and only one – life. This book helps you make it count.

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Incognito – The Secret Lives Of The Brain

There is someone in your head, but it’s not you.

David M. Eagleman – Incognito

Update: there is another review of this book by 52in52weeks.

This book provides fascinating insight into how we make our decisions based mostly on our unconscious mind.

A common saying is that “we are creatures of habit”. This book takes this even further to suggest that a lot of our decisions are made in our subconscious mind. We think we have decided something, when in fact it was decided for us in a part of our brain we can not easily access.

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The Slight Edge

Focus on Daily Actions – Reach Your Long Term Goal.

Jeff Olson – The Slight Edge 

This is the book that started it all for me.

I have tried to lose weight, stop wasting time on the internet and keep up with any activity I got into… but the habits I wanted to abandon always came back with a vengeance. Sounds familiar? It was for me. And I hated it.

Along came this book.

For the first time in decades, it got my life back on track.

I am not kidding: This book has changed my life.

Without it, there would be no

What makes this book unique?

Traditionally, I would set a goal such as “go from 250 to 200 lbs body weight in 6 months”.

I would close my eyes, hold a strict diet and counted down the days until the 6 months were over.

And 6 months are a long time. I often lost discipline (“just one cheat day, won’t matter in the long run”).

Even if I would succeed, I stopped my strict diet and gained it all back.

I was fixated on “weight loss” as an EVENT, a one-time occurrence – not a whole PROCESS.

The Slight Edge changed these thought patterns.

I was now seeing my big goals as byproducts of my efforts.

Every day, every step itself was ONE goal for me.

Surprisingly – I lost weight and body fat almost effortlessly. I stopped watching porn (ahem) as if it was nothing. I drastically reduced the time spent on YouTube.

And so much more.

If I had been smoking, I am sure I would have been able to stop it.


Key concepts of the book

 “Someday” never comes.

“Someday” I am going to be rich. “Someday” I will have my business. “Someday” I will be free.

Don’t fall for the “quantum leap”. The big event is the result of your effort. Walk the walk every day.

And before you even realize, “someday” is here.


Daily steps are easy to do, and easy to forget.

Consistently sticking to simple steps is difficult – they are easy to do and as easy to forget. Sounds familiar? It sure was for me.

However, if you see these steps through the lens of time, they matter. Every single day.

Every decision you make brings you either closer to your goal or further away.



Don’t go “all in” at once. Instead, find your own pace of learning. Challenge yourself above what you could do the day before. Over time, you generate momentum towards your goals.

It’s like a millstone. You have to exert force to move it, but if you do too much at once, you will only slip. Instead, gently apply more and more pressure. Eventually, the stone will move and pick up speed along the way.


Don’t wait for the perfect plan

Even the Apollo rocket, a masterwork of technological perfection, was on its projected course only 2% of the time. They had to manually control it nearly all the way.

Don’t wait forever until you have the “perfect plan”. Start now with a simple step and keep at it for the next couple of days. Write a paragraph each day. Do 15 min of calisthenics. Read 10 pages per day. Then evaluate where you are. Correct if necessary. Work more. Reevaluate. And so forth.

Instead of planning out your dream, you are already working on it.


Winning habits

Show up – whether you feel like it or not.

Be consistent and committed to the long haul.

Cultivate a burning desire backed by faith and/or the belief in yourself.

The price of neglect will always be bigger than the price of discipline.

Practise integrity – do what you set out to do even if no one is watching.


You don’t pursue happiness, you CREATE it.

Every day, small steps.

Write down three things you are grateful for.

Note the positive experience of the day.

Meditate daily.

Do one random act of kindness.

Exercise 15 minutes a day. Do either or all of these five things for 21 days in a row, and you have installed Happy Habits as part of your life.


What is the most counterintuitive or controversial idea?

This book advocates daily steps that can seem small, such as workout for 15 minutes (only), reading 10 pages of a book, save a dollar a day etc.

Of course, the bigger your goal, the more effort you have to put in.

The point is to put in and focus on consistent effort.


What action steps did I take after I read this book?

A multitude.


#1 – I abandoned bad habits. Losing weight. Surfing the internet. Always waiting for the “last-minute” to finish a project. I could never get rid of those routines. Until I read this book.


#2 – I installed “happy habits” – every day, I am writing down three things I am grateful for. Ever since I started practising this, I have been much more positive and relaxed. How bad can the day be if I already found something to be thankful for?


#3 – I have started reading 10+ pages and writing 750+ words each day. Since february 2014, every day I have a sense of accomplishment. No matter how “bad” the day was, I got something done.


The “Slight Edge” has been a true life changer for me.

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