What’s Your One Thing?

Jack Palance City Slickers[1]

Focusing on one thing gives clarity, drive, and success.

Jack Palance, the weather-beaten, wizened old philosopher with a Stetson pulled low on his forehead and a cigarette dangling from his lips, speaks the spare and sage words to Billy Crystal in the movie, City Slickers. His words are true for you and me: “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that everything else don’t mean s—.” They are not especially elegant words, but they are powerful in communicating clarity, drive, and success.

The wisdom of his words are remarkably similar to the one’s voiced by Eric Hoffer, the American longshoreman philosopher, who shrewdly observed that “the feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time. It is, on the contrary, born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life. When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything else—we are the busiest people in the world.”

What is the one thing? It goes by many names. You can call it your purpose, your goal, your controlling center, your passion, your vision, your mission. It is the reason for your being, your answer to the question, “Why do I get up in the morning?” It is the divine core, the eternal dimension that helps us find the aliveness in all our days. The key to happiness is finding your one thing. The key to inner peace is focusing on your one thing. The key to success is fulfilling your one thing.

What makes the one thing important is not what it is called but what it does.

Your one thing gives direction. Like west. No matter how far west you go, there’s still more west to travel. Your one thing is your lodestar, your personal compass. It tells you, in any given moment, whether you’re living your life “on purpose” or not. As you follow your direction, it helps you choose the path to go along your trail of life.

Your one thing is decisive. Stephen Covey wrote: “It’s easy to say no when there is a deeper yes burning within.” Knowing your one thing enables you to say to those activities and pursuits that matter most.

Your one thing provides drive. To drive means to guide, to control, and to direct. When you drive a car you guide, control, and direct the car. When you drive a nail you guide, control, and direct the nail. When you drive a golf ball, hopefully, you guide, control, and direct the golf ball. Everyone is driven by something. Some are driven by their past, others their parents, still others by their peers, and others by their partner. Knowing your one thing provides the drive for your life.

Do you know your one thing?

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About Rick Ezell

I am a husband, father, pastor, and writer. This blog is about shaping character, transforming church, and impacting culture. I believe that if one defines their moments then their moments will determine their character and their character will influence their world. I write on personal development, church leadership, and our changing culture. I also write about the resources I am developing and the books I am writing. My goal is to create challenging, relevant, and inspiring content that will help you be a better person, the church be a better parish, and the world a better place. If you are interested in those things, this blog is for you. I have served the church my entire career as a student minister and senior pastor. I studied at Samford University, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary (eventually I will get it). I have written eight books. My most recent ones are Chapter 13: The Excellence of Love and Soul Therapy: The Healing Words of Psalm 23. Both are available as eBooks. I have written over 1000 articles for various local, regional, and national publications. I have been married to Cindy for thirty-three years. We have one wonderful daughter. We live in Greenville, SC. In my free time, I enjoy writing, reading, running, tennis, and golf. You can contact me via email or follow me on Twitter or Facebook. This is my personal blog. The opinions I express here do not necessarily represent those of my employer. The information I provide is on an as-is basis. I make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use.
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