The power of one is mesmerizing. We don’t realize it, but it can change how we see things. It can help us focus and help us get to the next step and embrace a pattern without an avalanche of expectations or creating a false self.
Let’s explore the power of one across the facets of life, especially our professional lives.
One Day at a time
It’s amazing how focus can help. Just think about one day at a time versus the next week or month. We don’t know what’s going to happen. But we can always be comfortable with today.
If today didn’t go well, that’s OK. Tomorrow is a fresh start. And that’s what one day at a time means: not worrying about what’s going to happen a week from now. Just take one day at a time, and if today wasn’t good, then reset and restart with a fresh new day.
One Step at a time
It’s easy to get carried away with big goals and objectives at work. What if we focused on taking the next step, and just that? We don’t need to solve all problems at once. All we need to know is our next step.
Then, we can be focused on today and be in the present. We should be fully committed to what we can control today. And then take the next step. In our “fearless program,” we had our moonshot goal tracker across weeks and a milestone for each month, with a reward after each win. It broke down our efforts into what we could comprehend — one step at a time.
So to all those who struggle with the big goals or who are concerned about how to move the moon and the earth to get to where they want to go in their careers: Take it one step at a time now. You could be much happier and have much more control of your destiny than you think.
One Message and One Email at a time
We are good at holding onto things. We keep filling up inboxes and collecting text messages. Most of those messages are meant for that moment in time, and that’s it. I started to purge one email and message at a time and created so much space.
I’ve been holding on to clutter forever. It’s liberating not to. We should purge every day. And then we’ll have time and space for everything else that matters.
You can apply this rule to anything. An inbox is a starting point.
I was holding on and thinking, “I’ll need them someday.” As Marie Kondo teaches us: If we don’t need it now, then we won’t need it later. And I believe the thought of holding on is what keeps us in limbo.
Try it: Every time an email comes into your inbox, delete it if you read it and there’s nothing you need to do with it. And if you need it for the week, keep it in a to-do folder — and then purge it at the end of the week.
One Season at a time
Seasons and nature can teach us more about life and work than we think. We should open our eyes and see the perspective.
- Have you wondered why seasons exist?
- Is it nature’s way of balancing things in the rhythm of life?
If we do the same thing again and again, we get used to it and don’t appreciate what we have. We are in autopilot mode. Now that’s a beautiful reason to have different seasons.
When fall comes, it seems like the leaves are getting ready for their next life. When winter is coming, we get ready for the cold nights and short days. And spring will be here before we know it.
So enjoy the season — because it’ll be over before you know it.
One Article at a time
In 2019, I could barely write 500 words. We’re all afraid of things we don’t know. What if you took the chance to share your professional knowledge? Life’s magic could unfold in amazing ways.
For me, it wasn’t so much about writing another article. It was about writing the next word, the next sentence and the next paragraph. And then before you know it, you have written a thousand words. And that’s one article.
One Book at a time
Last year, I set a goal of reading 100 books. It was daunting. 100 books? Who has the time?
This is probably the most I’ve ever read in my entire life. Now, I read every day to learn something new.
There’s something about it: the idea that you can focus on learning one thing. And that has the power to propel itself into something much larger than itself: to compound and to build a habit for a lifetime.
One Mindfulness Moment at a time
Mindfulness can feel like a lot, especially professionally. The truth is that it’s more about “less is more.”
In a good week, I can sense mindfulness in everything that I do at work: I can be fully present and not multitask. When I took on a new role, for example, I used mindful discipline and boundaries to reduce stress and anxiety.
Where Do I Start?
If you are wondering where to start, here are some ways to amplify the power of one.
2020 taught us to slow down. It helped us focus on what matters. Examine your day-to-day activities at work: Does this task need to be taken care of right away?
Find out where you are spending your time and energy. Focus less on the things that you need to take care of in the future and be fully present in the now.
Ask the question: If I don’t need it now, will I need it in the future?
Most of the time, the answer is “no,” and you can let things go one at a time.
And appreciate the day-to-day. The joy, happiness and sadness. All of it together. That’s life.
Originally published at https://www.forbes.com.