Am I On the Right Path(s)?

You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects.

Gary Keller, from “The One Thing”

Mike Pertz captured this book excerpt from “The One Thing” by Gary Keller. I just put it in my Thriftbooks cart.

I need to sit and marinade on that thought.

At first glance, I think I’m in balance. Husband. Father. Son. Friend. Engineer. Teacher. PEMA volunteer. BJJ practitioner. Catholic. Blogger/writer/podcaster.

But then I look at that list – That’s a long list. Am I being great at each one? Can I be “great” at that many things? Are there too many things there, forcing me to be “kind-of good” at each one?

They are all important. Critical to who I am and what I want be be & provide.

I don’t see any of them that I want to prune.

Diligence in effort.

Try to maintain forward progress. Incremental progress.

Do I want to become income self-sufficient? Absolutely. Would combining several of these identifiers be supportive of that effort? I’d have to create & find a way to make that congeal.

Mike posted a great commentary in his weekly newsletter:

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? If you did, how’s it going? Have you stuck to it? If not, why not?

If you’re anything like me there are – couple things that throw me off my goals.

First, you’re probably not being honest with yourself. Being objective about what you want and where you want to be is hard.

The first principle is not to fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool. Richard Feynman

Once you’re able to be honest with yourself (which is much harder than we’d all like to admit), you really only have 3 options.

Take actions that will fix the problem—and your future.
Do nothing. Fully aware that you’re not only giving up on yourself, but likely on a path that isn’t good.
Do nothing. Because you think things will change and get better on their own.

Second, you lose focus. In Gary Keller’s book The One Thing he talks about the important of focus.

You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects. Gary Keller

This one hits home.

Over the last few year I’ve been involved in way to many things trying to do too much at once.

Because I’ve spread myself so thin I find myself staying busy, but not really excelling in any particular area.

I know I’m not alone, but it’s good to remind yourself of the basics—the things you know you should be doing, but aren’t.


I wrote to Mike thanking him for giving me the nudge for a personal check-in with myself:

“The quote from Gary Keller was the poke I needed today. We want to contribute. We see opportunity. We have the time & talents to provide. But do we have a tendency to dilute everything else we’ve been focusing on to take on that “one more thing…?” It strikes a chord with me as, with the help of Mr. Keller’s quote, it makes me pause to consider where all of my efforts are going. Thanks for providing a check point for me today.”

So, as I move into the coming weeks, the Check Point has been set:

Stay focused on the efforts that are worth me garnering my time towards.

Keep the blinders to distractions on.

Don’t waste time on the inconsequentials because there are plenty of consequentials for me to give of myself towards.

PS: I mentioned the Feynman Technique and what a notable process it is. I’ve referred to it with my students in a classroom setting, it is very intriguing. I’ve included a few links to more details on it:

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