The Power of One


Remember the scene in City Slickers where Curly reveals the secret of life?

It’s this – one thing. He says, “You stick to that and everything else don’t mean shit.” You gotta figure out what your one thing is. It’s different for each of us.

There is something so peaceful in thinking about that. And something so empowering when focusing on that concept, especially in 2017 when the world demands that we multi-task, and that we have to do everything well. As women we feel the need to be the high-powered corporate exec and the most engaging mom to our children. If not, we might as well hide out and not show our face on Facebook. Our children are pressured to be great at sports, excelled in their school work and well rounded enough to play in the symphony. If not, what are colleges going to think?

It’s all too much. We get caught up in the complexities and frenetic pace of life. But every once in awhile that scene comes to my mind and I think, “What’s my one thing?” And how can I stick to that? I guess there have been a few times in my life when I had the opportunity to do just one thing: When I was a stay at home mom and my life was taking care of my kids, my home and my husband. When I was writing my books and for at least two days a week, that’s all I did. And again when I was recovering from a heart operation, my one thing was getting better so I could live. Sad that it has to take a health crisis to bring us to that but it is one of those times when the pressure of society is off. No one expected me at the PTO meeting, or to be working or to make dinner for that matter! I could rest and recuperate.

So how can we use the power of one to simplify and calm our lives down?

I have a few suggestions:

  1. Don’t volunteer for every committee, chose one that makes you happy.
  2. Help your kids chose one sports team or activity per season.
  3. If you have a lot of one category of clothing, chose one that you love, one that makes you look fabulous, like one great winter coat, black dress, bathrobe or hat. Let go of the rest.
  4. In your kitchen chose one set of dishes, one set of glasses and one set of utensils – donate the odd pieces and all other sets.
  5. Are charities hounding you to donate? Find one that moves you and give all of your allotted charitable contributions to them. Really make a difference.
  6. Household chores driving you nuts? Do only one per day.
  7. Does your whole house need an overhaul? Focus on one room at a time. Don’t stop until you love that room. Then move on.
  8. Do birthdays and holidays leave you stressed out from overbuying? Chose one special gift for each person. Put thought into it all year long and write down your suggestions.
  9. Invited to multiple parties in one day? Chose one and have a great time.
  10. Does your business offer too many services but none are doing great? Focus on one and become the highly specialized expert in that field.

See there are so many ways we can become minimalistic by paring down to one in areas of our life that feel overwhelming.

What can you get to one?