Saying 'No' to Infinite Possibilities - Focusing on One Thing

The inifite world we live in, powered by technology and the internet, leaves us with a myriad of decisions to make and rabbits to chase.

Saying 'No' to Infinite Possibilities - Focusing on One Thing

In a world of infinite possibilities, we have to limit our possibilities to be successful.

The inifite world we live in, powered by technology and the internet, leaves us with a myriad of decisions to make and rabbits to chase.

Think about how much content you are able to consume from the amount of podcasts (48 million podcasts as of April 2021), YouTube videos (500 hours of content are uploaded every minute), articles and ebooks (no stat for that) and websites and blogs... This is a mind boggling number.

What about starting side hustles? There are many options for each new creator. I chose the easiest which is to start writing and publishing on my website, but there are countless paths one could take here.

The reality is that with tech and the internet, we are faced with choices that are unheard of from the past generation.

How then do we make the most use of our time?

A principle of NO

“When you say no, you are only saying no to one option.

When you say yes, you are saying no to every other option.

No is a decision.

Yes is a responsibility.

Be careful what (and who) you say yes to. It will shape your day, your career, your family, your life.”

- James Clear

I love what James Clear says here, that saying Yes is a responsibility.

This is a intentional daily decision to make. I would almost say hourly and by the minute. If your greatest resource is time, then we have to guard how we spend that time.

Faced with all these choices, it's almost as if your default should be no.

The age of leverage has brought nearly infinite possibilities for us. This can sometimes lead to paralysis. What do I do? What do I start with? What can I work on?

The underlying principle is really twofold; saying No and then focusing on One Thing.

Focus on your One Thing

The One Thing is a good principle to have. I believe its true that in order to be successful, you start first by doing one thing well. That one thing will then lead on to another one thing, and another one thing.

Here's an excerpt from the book:

“When you want the absolute best chance to succeed at anything you want, your approach should always be the same. Go small.

‘Going small’ is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do. It’s recognizing that not all things matter equally and finding the things that matter most. It’s a tighter way to connect what you do with what you want. It’s realizing that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.

When you go as small as possible, you’ll be staring at one thing. And that’s the point.”

The idea of going small is really crucial here. Your dreams and projects may be BIG, but you have to start small and work on toppling the daily domino.

This idea of dominos is very similar to the idea of creating chains (or streaks), popularised by Jerry Seinfeld.

The thing about dominos is also that each domino has the kinetic energy to knock down an object 50% larger and heavier that it is. This works out to be a compounding effect that I'm learning more about now too.

Choose to Create

The challenge of infinite possibilities is also a challenge of our attention. That is, our decisions at each moment is to either be consuming or creating.

That's the problem we face today - the choice to create or to consume.

There are countless courses out there that I wish I could take and learn from, such as Building a Second Brain, Part-Time YouTuber Academy, and of course, the Write of Passsage. [My long term goal is to take all 3 of this courses in the near future.]

But for now, I choose to just create.

My goal is simple, to publish 1 article per day for 100 days.

I know that writing is a skill that will help me in other areas of my life and career. So this is now the primary means I choose to Create.

That also means, what I consume is going to relate to what I'm creating.

Whether that is articles that help me with writing better, or reading something on a topic that I'm going to write about.

Limiting your possibilities is necessary for you to find your One Thing and excelling in it.

How are you limiting your possiblities today? Tweet me and let me know.