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BrianJonesDOTcom has commented on (2) products.

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller
The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

BrianJonesDOTcom, April 7, 2014

Gary Keller’s The ONE Thing amasses the best productivity insights out there into one practical, page turning book.

Reflecting on his own life, Keller wrote, “I looked back at my successes and failures and discovered an interesting pattern. Where I’d had huge success, I had narrowed my concentration to one thing, and where my success varied, my focus had too.” That’s because, as Keller notes, “There will always be just a few things that matter more than the rest, and out of those, one will matter most.”

What Keller sets out to do, then, is simple: help the reader find their “One Thing” and focus on that until they find success. What the reader discovers is a wide-reaching examination of psychological studies, pieces of advice from the best leadership wisdom in print, and compelling stories of focus and determination.

Admittedly, much of the material covered is found in other books; but to me, that’s the real value of this encouraging, practical read. Keller distills the “best of the best” regarding productivity and focus and weaves the cacophony of voices and disciplines out there into a thoughtful manuscript, marked by his own unique inspiration and candor.

If you’re looking for help identifying your “ONE thing” and turning it into reality over the long haul, then The ONE Thing is a book worth checking out.
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What I Talk about When I Talk about Running by Haruki Murakami
What I Talk about When I Talk about Running

BrianJonesDOTcom, March 15, 2014

I have this theory that goes like this: sometimes we find books, and sometimes books find us.

Oftentimes I'll pick up a book, read a few lines, and quickly close the covers. I'll instinctively know that no matter how much I want to read it that that book's message was meant for a later time. And sure enough, years later, I'll spot the book on the corner of my shelf and be moved to pick it up, only to find exactly what I needed to hear. It's funny how life, and reading, works that way.

Other times I'll find a book in the most random way - through a footnote or a random citation in an obscure periodical, for instance - and that book's message will be exactly what I needed to hear at that moment in my life. That was certainly the case with Japanese novelist Karuki Murakami's wonderful little book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.

While training for the New York City Marathon Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami decided to write about it as well. What materialized was a unique memoir that discusses his twin passions of writing and running, and the interesting way they nurture and inform each other.

I've been struggling as of late staying focused on the hard work of writing, so when I opened the book and read the following lines I knew that a message that I needed to hear had found me:

"One runner told of a mantra his older brother, also a runner, had taught him which he's pondered ever since he began running. Here it is: Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you're running and you start to think, Man this hurts, I can't take it anymore. The hurt part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand any more is up to the runner himself. This pretty much sums up the most important aspect of marathon running."

If you feel called to creative work, and are struggling with finding the discipline necessary to create a body of work, you'll find this playful, oftentimes philosophical memoir food for your soul.
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