The One Thing

My friend Larry Girard pulled a book off his shelf and asked, “What’s the ONE Thing you can do this week such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?”*  Handing me the book Larry said, “Carlton, you need to read this.”

The book?  The One Thing** by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan.

It changed my life—not just by the week, or the day, or even the hour.  Sometimes it changes me a moment at a time as I negotiate the unexpected opportunities that arise in my day.

Narrowing focus, identifying my priorities, and choosing one arrow to send flying straight toward my target.  That’s what Keller teaches.  And my bullseye shooting percentage keeps climbing.

Keller’s book is loaded with penetrating stuff.  I’ve selected a quiver-full, five (5), that stimulate my thinking.

“‘Going small’ is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do….It’s realizing that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.” (P. 10)



“Toppling dominoes is pretty straightforward.  You line them up and tip over the first one….Highly successful people know this.  So every day they line up their priorities anew, find the lead domino, and whack away at it until it falls.” (P. 16)

“There is magic in knocking down your most important domino day after day.” (P. 170)

“You don’t need to be a disciplined person to be successful.  In fact, you can become successful with less discipline than you think, for one simple reason:  success is about doing the right thing, not about doing everything right.” (P. 55)

“What you build today will either empower or restrict you tomorrow.” (P. 89)

“The ONE Thing sits at the heart of success and is the starting point for achieving extraordinary results.” (P. 24)

Coaching can help you find the ONE Thing that will launch you forward into a powerful tomorrow.  Let’s talk….  First session is free!
Carlton Harvey
*Quoted from:  Keller, G. with Papasan, J. (2012).  The One Thing:  The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results.  Bard Press:  Austin, TX. P. 9.
** Ibid.

Lessons in Recovery

My recent back surgery and recovery have given me lots of opportunity to reflect and learn some lessons, or perhaps relearn some lessons.  Some lessons shouldn’t be repeated in public but needed to be learned nonetheless.  Here are some other thoughts.


Turn Off the Flashlight

Dan light

My father honored me by taking me with him on a journey deep into the wilderness of Southwestern Oregon. My dad had a friend, Dan Tucker, who invited us to travel far into the back country and visit a gold mine.

For hours we bounced along primitive roadways, switch backing our way up one side of a mountain, through a pass, and then zig zagging down the other side. Eventually we came to the end of the road and stopped in to visit some wilderness mountain people who had made their home in that isolated location—hours from the nearest human being.

We parked our 4X4 truck and set out with back packs. By this time the sun had settled behind the mountains so we were left to hike in the dark. Dan was our guide and led the way. I was in the middle and my dad brought up the rear. The trail was narrow but not steep. We followed a creek upstream.


What’s In It For Me?

imageAs the priest stood on the dock waiting for the ship that would start him on his journey home, he wrung his hands nervously. As he did so he looked down at his hand and noticed some mysterious white spots. There was numbness, too. Almost immediately he know what was happening to his body. He had contracted leprosy!

With that disease he knew he would not be allowed to board the ship. No one ever got off the island with leprosy. So he trudged back up the hill. As word spread across the island that Father Damien had leprosy people began to gather outside his little hut. They understood his pain, the fear, and the uncertainly about the future.

The following Sunday the priest found hundreds of people gathered at the chapel. He stood and spoke to them saying, “My fellow lepers….”(1)

There was another minister who came to a people that were sick and dying without hope. St. Paul wrote about Him saying this Man, “being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the very highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:6-11)