What do the following statements have in common?
At some point Curly turns to Mitch and says, “Do you know what the secret of life is?” Mitch replies, “No, what?” Curly holds up his index finger and says, “This!” Mitch says, “Your finger? Using, shall we say, somewhat colorful language, Curly goes on to explain that he means that one thing matters in life.
Mitch says, “That’s great, but what’s the one thing?”
Curly responds, “That’s what you gotta figure out.”
https://www.knoxnews.com/story/money/business/2019/02/06/one-thing-your-life-matters-most/2582003002/ (City Slickers)
“That is one small step for man,
One giant leap for Mankind.”
– Neal Armstrong
Also in the book or movie Contact by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, remember how Ellie Arroway’s dad counsels her twice—once on Earth and again as a wise alien:
“Small moves, Ellie. Small moves.”
There is a profound and powerful better endings coaching tool embedded in each of the statements above. One Thing, when rightly chosen and enacted, can launch your life in a new direction from which you will never need to turn back, propelling you directly to “live your dream!”
An example from my life is that some 17 years ago, I was just beginning to think about how a Humanities class I had been developing and co-teaching with a History professor in Colorado—called Myth, Reason, and Your Life History—in which I presented an eight-week series of classes in life mapping, could be put into a book that could be useful for readers. When I shared this emerging idea with a therapist (whose approach of archetypal psychotherapy I wanted to use in the book), she suggested I could take a one month writing retreat. I did not have extra cash and had several pets that would need to be cared for, but after some consideration, I went for it! I rented a ski chalet (by credit card) in Steamboat Springs, Colorado for a whole month of July that next summer, hired a pet sitter and brought my one elder cat Ariel with me.
It was wonderful to have a full month to focus on just one thing: outlining and beginning to write a personal growth and development book that eventually became Your Life Path: Life Mapping Tools to Help You Follow Your Heart and Live Your Dream, Now! (Skyhorse, 2018). I wrote original versions of the openings to most of the book’s chapters right there at the Steamboat Springs chalet. I woke early, had breakfast and started writing and working on workbook materials at 8 AM, and I worked 7 days a week until usually at least 7 or 8 PM, nearly every day that month. It was exhilarating! I wrote book and chapter synopses, developed workbook ideas, and by the time I returned home from the retreat, I knew I could take this work forward, and gradually did! It would take several more years before I met an agent at a writing conference who took the book on and helped me develop it further for publication, but I never looked back from that singular point of deciding, yes, I would take a full month writing retreat. That was my “one small step,” my “One Thing.”
In Your Life Path I developed the One Thing concept (based on the City Slickers idea quoted above) into one of the future-planning life mapping workbook Tools. I ask people to first express a very important goal that would bring them a sense of fulfillment in their life. Then I invite them, after imagining what their life would look like from the perspective of having fulfilled that goal (i.e., envisioning from the point of view of the goal achieved), what could be ONE THING or ONE SMALL STEP they could undertake now or in the near foreseeable future that could propel them in the direction of actualizing their dream.
What about you? What is a life goal you have nurtured that might seem difficult to realize but that, if actualized, would bring you to a deeper sense of personal fulfillment of your sense of Mission in life?
Okay, so what is ONE THING you COULD DO now, or in the near foreseeable future, that would propel you in the direction of Living Your Dream?
(Plan it! Make It So!)