Jay Papasan is a bestselling author, executive, and corporate speaker. He serves as the vice president and executive editor at Keller Williams Realty International, the world’s largest real estate company. His most recent book, “The One Thing,” co-authored with Gary Keller, has made over 500 appearances on national bestseller lists, including #1 on The Wall Street Journal’s hardcover business list.
In this interview, Jay starts by discussing the main theme of “The One Thing,” and the story behind the idea for the book. We ask him how someone who’s feeling overwhelmed can start to cut through the clutter. Jay talks about the power of saying no, which comes from clarity of what you’re saying yes to, and relates this to Pareto’s 80/20 principle. He offers strategies for how people can determine their top priority and achieve more by doing less.
Jay then talks about how to achieve better results in less time. He emphasizes the importance of focusing and concentrating your energies, and building sustainable habits. Jay dispels the 21-day habit building myth that’s pushed in a lot of self-help, and reveals what the scientific research says about how long it actually takes to build a habit. He walks us through some examples of how athletes use practice as their one thing to improve. Jay also talks about how to build momentum towards a goal once a habit is established.
Next, Jay provides some effective strategies for reducing the stress that’s often associated with pursuing goals. He clarifies the difference between using external pressure versus intrinsic motivation. He discusses why writing down your goals makes you more likely to achieve them. Jay talks about the importance of being accountable to someone, and offers advice on finding the right person. He also discusses the concept of modeling, and how to adopt other people’s strategies and mindsets in order to reverse engineer your way to reaching a goal.
Jay then talks about the two ways people can get more energized about their goals: purpose and willpower. He describes how willpower works, and offers tips for sustaining willpower, including doing your most important work early in the morning. He references Hal Elrod’s “The Miracle Morning,” which goes more in-depth on this concept. We ask Jay how people can stay on track with their goals and master what’s most important to them. He talks about the importance of setting your ego aside and adopting a student mindset. He also emphasizes that mastery is a life-long process and not just a destination.
Finally, Jay tells us the story of how he met his wife, and ties this in with the theme of the podcast. Instead of trying to find the right person, he recommends finding yourself first. He explains how finding and focusing on your passion will naturally attract the right people into your life. As a last tip, Jay encourages the listeners to try the habit forming challenge on the website for “The One Thing,” and see how it changes their lives.
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Mike is the Producer for the Craft of Charisma Podcast.