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The Single Most Important Thing

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Posted 19 August 2016 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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We offer both:
• Bespoke in-house training.
These can be tailored to your specific needs.
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You may find the following will help with your Decision Making and Problem Solving skills training.

The Single Most Important Thing

Question: What single skill would make the biggest difference in your professional life?

Answer: The ability to see what is 'the single most important thing'.

In any situation, if you can pick out from the many bits of information, the single most important thing, then you will be the one who will eventually win.

In any conversation, if you can pick out the thing that means the most to the other person, and then if you were to focus the conversation onto that most important thing, then you would win the reputation for being a great conversationalist.

And in a crisis situation, if you can pick-out the single thing that would make the biggest difference, then it will be you who will solve the problem the fastest.

In any situation, the ability to pick-out the single most important thing, is the most important skill for you to develop.

If you could always figure out what is the most important thing, in terms of the use of your time, then you would get more done, in less time.

Many people don't think about 'What is the most important thing?' Instead they think about what is the most pleasurable thing. So, rather than doing the single most important thing, they waste precious time doing easy things. They waste their time.

To find the most important thing, think in terms of hierarchies. Look at the diagram below

Imagine your problem is that you are suffering from effects 1, 4, 7 and 9.

If you could see that everything was stemming from the single root cause, then you could solve all your problems by doing just one single thing that would eliminate effects 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

For example, in 1740 British sailors were suffering from a multitude of different ills.

  • swollen gums - which became soft and vulnerable to bleeding.
  • joint pain.
  • shortness of breath.
  • swelling in recently healed wounds.
  • inability to work and
  • general fatigue.

The navy spent years trying to figure out what to do.

Eventually James Lind discovered that a lack of vitamins, was the cause of all these illnesses which together are the symptoms of scurvy. If lime juice was added to their diets, then all the symptoms disappeared. This was the first time that a deficiency disease was identified as a root cause of illness. And it is why the British are still called "Limies" by some Australians and Americans.

The identification of proper nutrition in order to solve multiple problems with one action is one example of what I mean by finding the single most important thing.

Always look for the single most important thing and, in any situation, try to develop a real sense of what it is.

It seems so obvious to say it, but the most important thing is 'The Most Important Thing'.

Figure out what it is for you, and concentrate on it.

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