The One Thing

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

During this lockdown period, there have been a lot of posts on Instagram that are in either of two camps:

  1. use this time wisely to self improve,
  2. or be kind to yourself and know that it is not necessary to be super productive and learn a new language in the space of a month.

Personally, I have found this to be a challenge as I have flipped and flopped between the two. There are days where I struggled with my energy levels and motivation. When I am in such a mood, I find it important to revisit my values and to understand what I am passionate about. It is only when you find your “why” or passion that you would build the necessary routine and systems to do something positive.

I have had many people recommend, The ONE Thing by Gary Keller to me. Many have found the book to be transformational. The premise is to identify What is the One Thing that you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary. Honestly, I have found this concept difficult to grasp. They say if you don’t know what your ONE Thing is, then you should make it your one thing to find out what that is… Helpful. Some might simply say, money – If I had money then everything will be easier and then I can focus on everything else. I have also tried to consider something more short term or concrete, but I recognise that the ONE thing is not just going to fall on your lap.

This must be a life long journey and every stage of your life is different, every day is different. A person is multilayered, I am both analytical and creative; what I want to achieve at work is different from what I want to achieve personally. Though it is easy to feel overwhelmed by these thoughts, you need to lean in and be uncomfortable and critically ask yourself – what is your ONE thing. Potentially, start with the end goal and work backwards?

When thinking of this topic, it has reminded me of the importance of coaching. Someone to help you work through all the mental blocks and to ask the difficult questions to be that helping hand in reaching your goals. Obviously, you do the hard work, but having someone to keep you accountable and ask the right questions, you had not thought about, is extremely powerful.

Do something

Coming back to which camp I am on in the Instagram debate, I am on the side of doing something. Being in lockdown is an unusual opportunity and it should not be wasted. Build-in recovery time, but also be disciplined and make time for your thoughts to find your ONE thing or to do something that you had previously put on pause because you were too busy.

Finding that ONE thing requires work, you are not going to find it if you sit on your laurels. Dweck and Greg Walton of Stanford recently performed a study that suggests it might be time to change the way we think about our interests. Passions aren’t “found,” they argue, they’re developed.

Try spending 20 minutes each day thinking about the things that have interested you recently, or any opportunities that you have spotted. Maybe try thinking back to when you are a child, what did you care about? What did you enjoy doing – is this something you can do now as an adult? Have you done something that made you lose track of time because you enjoyed it so much? It is a journey of discovery and it is exciting!

Once you have identified something that might be of interest. Read all about it and read some more. Do your research – websites, blogs, books, anything you can get your hands on! This is because there is probably someone out there in the world that is passionate about the thing you are. Read up about it, they probably have already done a lot; so learn from their experiences, enhance your knowledge.

Good luck! I hope you find your ONE thing, do let me know how you get on in the comments below.

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