Summary: One Decision: The First Step to a Better Life by Mike Bayer
Summary: One Decision: The First Step to a Better Life by Mike Bayer

Summary: One Decision: The First Step to a Better Life by Mike Bayer

Kindle | Hardcover | Audiobook

One decision paradigm

One decision is about the paradigm shift you believe is vital for you to make right now. You need to stop thinking about making the ‘best decision’ for your life. Instead, you need to make the decision as your ‘best self’. This is the important takeaway from this book.

  1. The first step to creating a better life for ourselves is to live as our best self.
  2. When we’re being our best self, we’re able to see obstacles as opportunities.
  3. When we see opportunities, we can make authentic decisions.
  4. When our decisions are authentic, we can let go and let the universe decide.

You need to stop thinking about making the ‘best decision’ for your life. Instead, you need to make the decision as your ‘best self’. 


The four Os – Obstacle, Opportunity, One decision, Outcome


Think of a pair of sunglasses. The lenses filter light in specific ways so our eyes are protected when we’re in bright sunlight. Some lenses change the color of light. Imagine putting on two lenses. One is the obstacle lens. When we view something through that lens, in the same way the blue lens makes everything blue, the obstacle lens makes everything in life appear to be an obstacle.

If you see the world through an obstacle lens, any perceived problem will continue to be a problem. It makes you feel bad in myriad ways.


Opportunity lens, not obstacle lens, is the one that allows us to see possibilities. It feels better to us when we’re in the opportunity mindset. It feels authentic. We simply have to make a conscious effort to change the lens.

If you see the world through opportunity lens, you’re suddenly presented with new possibilities and directions. It helps you move forward as your best self.

One Decision

When you’ve removed your obstacle lens, put on your opportunity lens and aligned yourself best self, it’s time to make that one decision. The one decision arrives differently for everyone, greatly depending on where you are in life and where you want to be in life. Copying someone else’s one decision isn’t an answer. Let your ‘best self’ make the one decision.


We can have complete control over the one decision we make. But we must let go from that point onward. It’s the universe that decides the outcome. No matter how much we’d love to, we can’t predict outcomes. Even when we plan everything in order, the outcome can still turn out to be something completely opposite. The goal then is to feel good about our one decision, regardless of the direction it takes.


REP your way to a better life

Sometimes an area in your life feels completely out of sync with who you’re, like you can’t believe you ended up where you’re right now. There are degrees to which we might need to bring about change in our lives. To help you discern to what degree you need, Mike introduced something called the REP scale:

  • Reinvent
  • Evolve
  • Pivot


To reinvent is to overhaul. It’s the most significant change, so significant in fact that life looks completely different. A reinvention might mean making a decision to start doing things opposite that you’ve been and start getting a completely different outcome.

Some examples of reinvention are losing a huge amount of weight, going to college, getting sober or breaking up with a toxic partner.


Evolving is the act of growing up and growing up. It means you evolve with the world around you so it gets upgraded and you get upgraded too. To evolve means accepting your reality and embracing maturity for change.

Some examples of evolution are refusing late night partying because you have early work hours, changing your hobbies so you can shift to a more appropriate peer group.


A pivot can create big change, although not as significant as reinvention. FOr instance, you decide you’ll no longer engage in gossip or that you’ll spend less time on social media. Maybe it’s seeking new training to improve your career. Or if your parenting techniques don’t seem to be working on your child now and it might be time to try a different approach.

For every area of your life that’s not working out, assess yourself where you are on the REP Scale. You’ll gain a glimpse into the degree of change you need to take.


Paradigm shifts from ‘victim’ to ‘victor’

‘Fortune telling’ to ‘fact finding’

  • There’s no work available for my skill set → There are hundreds of thousands of openings everyday no matter the economy.
  • The economy will never rebound → The economy has rebounded before.
  • I’m too old → People my age have been hired in the past.
  • I’ll never have as much fun sober → There’re a lot of sober people who say they’ve more fun now.
  • I’ll never find love → People fall in love all the time no matter the looks and life stages.

‘Over generalizing’ to ‘objective thinking’

  • All diets don’t work → Countless people have succeeded on diets.
  • People aren’t trustworthy → I’m trustworthy. I know others must be.
  • Guys just want younger women → Many men are faithful even as relationship matures.
  • I’ve always been depressed → It’s impossible to be depressed all the time.

‘Right mindset’ to ‘relaxed mindset’

  • This is the only way to do it → I’m open to collaborating with others in the best possible way.
  • An argument isn’t over until I’ve proven my point → Every conflict represents an opportunity to learn and grow.
  • I’m the parent. Do as you’re told → I’m willing to be patient and work together with you.
  • I’m right. You’re wrong → It’s not about who’s right.

‘Confused purpose’ to ‘clarified purpose’

  • I have to make the right decision. If I don’t, I’ll suffer with regrets → There’s no right or wrong decision, only those aligned or not. I’m going to focus on my purpose rather than the outcome and let it go.
  • Everyone is telling me something different. I don’t know what to do → I will ask someone from my one decision team to remind me of my purpose. I’ll lean on that person to help me act with purpose.
  • I don’t know why I’m doing this anymore. I feel lost → I know who I am and I’ll let that truth be a guiding light.

‘Emotional reasoning’ to ‘evidence-based reasoning’

  • I don’t like presenting my ideas. I’m going to stay quiet at work → When I’ve had to present something, I’ve received positive feedback..
  • I’m angry at my ex, so I’m not trying to co-parent → Children of divorced parents cope better when parents work together to co-parent.
  • I like how it feels having a good-looking partner, so I won’t date the rest → Looks don’t play a big role in long-term happiness in a relationship.


Forming a One Decision team

Here’s a list of roles that you might include as you build your team of one-decision consultants:

  1. Sounding board – who listens to you well.
  2. Visionary – who helps you realize your own potential.
  3. Motivator – who gets you fired up and excited to take action.
  4. Nurturer – who offers a shoulder to cry on.
  5. Big-picture thinker – who helps you see the big picture.
  6. Helper – who shows up to help you in the middle of the night.
  7. Wise counsel – who offers a lot of wisdom.
  8. Connector – who gets a thrill out of connecting people.
  9. Fun maker – who cheers you up and makes your life more fun.
  10. Adviser – who loves nothing more than sharing new information.
  11. Student – who loves learning from you.
  12. Therapist – who gives you nonsense objective advice.

Apart from these roles, you might have others in mind that will play a part in your one decision. By all means, write them down. Everyone needs a team to help each other, feel good and win.

Having a solid team means being a solid teammate. Remember you’re not the only one with a team. We all have teams. So you’re very likely on other people’s teams as well. So when you decide to be a great teammate, ask yourself which particular role you’re best suited. No matter the role, the goal is to love them for who they truly are and help them stay that path.

Kindle | Hardcover | Audiobook