Do You Know About the Power of One?

If not, you should. It could be life- and world-changing.

If you can’t commit to something big, commit to something small.

~ Merle Shain

The demands of modern life can be overwhelming and exhausting. We’re often made to feel that if we aren’t doing a hundred things at once, success will not find us and we’re less than, even worthless.

But undertaking too much is not only stressful but also a sure path to physical, mental, and spiritual depletion. And you know what? It may also be an impediment to achievement and success.

We’re still in the dawn of a new year — a time to make resolutions, we’re told. But I can’t abide by New Year’s resolutions; because, frankly, I don’t sustain them for any length of time. Maybe I’m lazy or undisciplined. But I think that lofty resolutions are the likely problem. By being so focused on the end result, it’s easy to forget that the path to any success begins and ends with ONE step at a time.

Do you feel me on this? Yes. Then maybe it’s time we explore and embrace the Power of ONE. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought. For example:

On Education

How about watching ONE documentary or online course a week or per month? Think about it. At the end of a year, you would know 52 or 12 things you didn’t know at the dawn of the year. Don’t scoff at that, because over a lifetime, just think about how enriched your life and mind would be.

And speaking of documentaries, I just watched Pornland. I have to admit that watching this documentary was like being kicked in the gut by a 6’6″ lumberjack wearing steel-toe boots. But it provides viable answers to this question (still a lame response, ladies) and the one I pondered here about White Hollywood. Plus, it made me even more committed to always making sure my female voice is resolute, LOUD, clear — and in REAL time.

Next up on my list: Bill Nye’s Masterclass.

On Business

I’ve never been overly concerned about business matters. But if that’s your thing and your free time is not infinite, maybe you can find ONE hour a day to spend on a business dream?

What one thing do you need to do to move forward in the right direction?

I know ONE hour doesn’t sound like much. But ONE hour multiplied by 365 days, adds up big time. And this has to be better than the four hours you wish you could spend on a dream but you can’t manage to do, so you give up.

Come to think of it, this suggestion works for mastering the guitar, the sewing machine, a foreign language, whatever. In fact, it’s how I taught myself to sew my own clothes.

Parting Tip: At the end or dawn of each day, ask yourself: What ONE thing do I need to do to be productive or to move in the direction I desire?

On Meal Times

I loathe grocery shopping and cooking. Despise. But I do like to have eaten. Still, I’m unwilling to slave away in the kitchen. So lately, I’ve committed to trying ONE new, easy recipe a week or at least monthly.

Just think: Within a few months, imagine how many favorite new options I could have in rotation. This is sure to make shopping and cooking easier. And that, my friend, is a win-win.

Get ready for easy, creamy deliciousness?

Recently, while Googling component meals, I came across a recipe for overnight oatmeal. I didn’t have high hopes for it. But I tried it — and I adored the creamy, versatile simplicity of it. It was delicious with just the right amount of chew. Now along with my beloved green smoothie, I have a brand new, easy breakfast option for those mornings too chilly for a smoothie.

Next up: These egg cups look yummy — and convenient.

On Movement

If you’re like me, you’re probably overcomplicating exercise. Do you know what I figured out? Unless you want to be a bodybuilder, fitness for us everyday folks, who are not in pursuit of six-pack abs and biceps to die for, is simple(r).

ONE set of 10 is worthwhile.

And this is never more true than when you’re a beginner. It’s as simple as committing to ONE set of 10 squats and ONE set of 10 push-ups. Because as you head into the rusty years, a six-pack ab does not contribute to aging with grace and maintaining physical independence. However, being able to squat down and push up absolutely will!

I did this for one month, and I was surprised at how much more alive and stronger I felt. After that, I was inspired to build up to two sets of 25 squats and two sets of 20 push-ups. And I did it. Now, I don’t feel moldy and ancient — and no longer have to get out of bed one stiff, achy joint at a time.

Parting Tip: If you can’t do 10, then begin with what you can and build up from there. Because the only workout routine that matters is the one you can commit to long-term.

I’m sure you get the idea, but I have one more category — possibly, the most crucial — to cover before I shut up.

On Social Responsibility

The world doesn’t suck. Life doesn’t have to suck. But too many ignorant, stupid people are sucking the joy and justice from life for at least half of us. Too often, lately, I feel like nothing I do or say matters at all — and maybe it doesn’t.

The purpose of life is… to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you lived and lived well.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

But I do believe that the choices and actions of ONE human being have merit. Because, regardless of what collective(s) you belong to, every collective is made up of individual human beings making individual choices. And it’s these individual choices that ultimately write the history of that collective.

So to that end, I ask myself the following every day:

  1. What ONE positive truth can I live today?
  2. What ONE bad habit can I release my grip on? Cowardly silence? Mindless shopping? Sloth? Gluttony? What?
  3. What ONE simple, random act of kindness can I do today to elevate my life and the life of others? For example:
    • As a human being ~ who is brave enough to wage war against injustice and cruelty of any kind from anyone of any colour?
    • As a woman ~ who shouts aloud no to a broken sexist patriarchy working overtime to reduce me to an object or a silent victim?
    • As a Black person ~ who dares to take a stand against internal and external systemic racism, White supremacy, and White privilege?
    • As a Westerner ~ who refuses to define my worth by material excess?

The social constructs of the world have too many of us foolishly chasing our own tails; burying our selfish or ignorant heads in the sand and waving our arses in the air; or believing life is a zero-sum game. Contrary to the pack of damn, damn lies the Powers that Be has fed us, this is not the path to success or empowerment. It’s always been and still is the path to humanity’s ultimate destruction.

So if your mental well-being is important to you; if you care about the future of children everywhere and the future of everyone, including yourself; or if you have a soul (worth saving), then, I urge you to —

Commit to ONE .

Because when we choose ONE as defined in this article, we choose peace over stress. When we choose ONE, we choose mastery over subjugation. When we choose ONE, we choose contribution over depletion. When we choose ONE, we choose ourselves — and each other.

So commit to ONE — and you can’t help committing to more.

4 thoughts on “Do You Know About the Power of One?”

  1. I choose all the ONEs described in this article starting with myself so I may give to others. Good advice since I tend to get sidetracked when attempting to do more than ONE thing at a time. Multitasking is overrated!!!

    • Multi-tasking is a scourge. It’s funny how you got that from the article without me using the word. The article started out about the evils of multi-tasking. Thanks for reading and commenting, Lianne.

  2. This entire article has moved me! And I strongly believe that if we commit ourselves to practice being kind to the people we come in contact with every day, it will make a tremendous difference in our lives and their lives as well.


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