Day 28 – Find Your One Thing

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“Purpose is what gives life a meaning.” –  Charles H. Perkhurst

Your Outcome:  Find your one thing.

Whether you call it your passion, your purpose, your mission, your crusade, finding your “Why,” or simply what you want your life to be about … express it in words, as a motto, or tagline, or a simple one-liner.

This will be your path and torch.

If you’ve seen the movie City Slickers, this scene should sound familiar:

  • Curly: You know what the secret of life is?
  • Mitch: No. what?
  • Curly: This. (holds up his finger)
  • Mitch: Your finger?
  • Curly: One thing.  Just one thing.  You stick to that everything else don’t mean shit.
  • Mitch: That’s great, but what’s the one thing?
  • Curly: That’s what you’ve got to figure out.

That’s the challenge in life, but the key to your success … you have to find your one thing.

Welcome to day 28 of 30 Days of Getting Results, based on my book Getting Results the Agile Way.

In day 27, we set ourselves up  to do something great as  a month long project.

Today, we find our one thing.  We find our purpose with skill.

The Story of What Drives Me …

Maybe I watched too many cartoons, but growing up I was a defender of underdogs.

Somehow I got the message, defend the weak or underprivileged.  My Mom re-enforced this making sure I knew to protect my little brother and sister (although, my sister knew how to whoop some arse, and she killed any spider that threatened my path.)

It’s not just defending people weaker than you though.  Early on I saw the movie Trading Places.  I remember how just by swapping people’s lot in life, everything changes … What people expect of them changes, how people treat them changes, and what people expect of others changes … even what people expect of themselves changes.  It’s powerful stuff.   But don’t expect anybody to pick you up and plop you down.  You have to make your own changes.  I’m a big believer that …

… Everybody deserves a chance at their best life.

I learned early on that it’s not your lot in life.  It’s not what you’ve got in life.  It’s what you make of it.  And the one thing you have your whole life is you.  You take you, everywhere you go.  The one thing you can invest in that gets you exponential results is you … your body, your mind, and your foundation.  Your foundation isn’t the stuff you have … it’s who you are, it’s your beliefs, it’s your values, it’s your rules, it’s your mindsets and your metaphors, and it’s your strategies and tactics for life … it’s your toolkit you use to make the most of what you’ve got.   That’s the story behind my one-liner purpose…

… Exponential results for the underdog.

I level the playing field with smarts. And everybody is an underdog at some point in their life.  Maybe it’s a game, where you don’t know the rules or how to play the game.  Maybe it’s in a situation, where you’re in the dark.  Maybe it’s your education compared to somebody else’s.  Maybe it’s your money compared to somebody else’s.  Maybe it’s your status compared to somebody else’s.  Regardless, we’re all underdogs in some way, shape, or form, in some situation.

The way to level the playing field is through know-how and knowledge.  I share the best skills I learn for making the most of any situation.  I share the wisdom of the ages and modern sages.  I draw from books, people, and quotes, as well as what I learn in the trenches at Microsoft and what I learn from my masterful mentors.  That’s what drives Sources of Insight.  That’s my Little Engine That Could. I make others great … I enhance you with skill … I empower YOU to be YOUR best.

But enough about me … this post is about you, and finding your one-liner purpose.  I shared mine to help you find yours.  Maybe seeing mine in action, helps you connect your dots and lights a bulb and your ah-ha moment fires for you in a way it’s never fired before.

Do What You Were Born to do or Do What You Love to Do

For some people, they find a way to do what they love for a living.  For some people, they find a way to fund their life style, and in turn, make time to do more of what they love.  Either way, this is the happy path.  Fulfillment is potentially a by-product.  For other people, they do what they were born to do.  This is the fulfillment path.  Happiness may be a by-product of the process, but, what drives them is giving their best, where they have their best to give.  Either way, effective people are find ways to answer their calling.  Where people fall down is when they ignore their passion or their lust for life or they don’t capitalize on making the most of what they’ve got.   Bringing your calling to the surface, or doing more of what you love to do, even in a simple way or a small way, on a regular basis, is how you light your fire, get on your path, and make a world of difference, starting with you.  It’s how you lead your life from the inside out.

Here’s a tip – a lot of people find their inner-strength by finding something to bet on that’s bigger than themselves, whether it’s service to others, their community, or an ideal in their life.

What Do You Want Your Life to Be About

Who do you want to be and what experiences do you want to create.   If you want your life to be magical, then spend time with magicians.  Explore the natural wonders of the world.  Stay curious and dream up possibilities, and watch more Disney.   If you want your life to be a comedy, then go to more comedy clubs.  Watch I Love Lucy.  Learn to look at life through a twisted lens that helps you open up and say, hah!  Find the funny in your life and the funny in the world.

Your one thing, can become an over-arching theme for your life, that helps you make meaning and enjoy the journey as you go.  The beauty is, to make the change, all you have to do is start with the question … “Who do you want to be? … and what do you want your life to be about?” … and then start creating those experiences. You’re the author of your life, the architect , and the director … point your camera at what you want more of.

Find Your One-Liner Purpose

This is where the magic happens.  Turn your calling into a one-liner reminder.  Here are some examples:

  1. I’m the explorer who paves the path for others.
  2. I’m the mentor who helps people live more, laugh more, learn more, love more.
  3. I’m the coach who helps make others great.
  4. I’m the writer who helps people write their life story.
  5. I’m the developer who writes the code to change the world.
  6. I’m the musician who makes people feel alive.
  7. I’m the poet who makes people think.
  8. I’m the researcher who finds the truth.
  9. I’m the bridge builder who connects people.
  10. I’m the mother who leaves my world a better place than I found.

This is the motto you’ll pull out when times get tough or when you have to remind yourself of your path or which way to go or how to get back on your horse.  It’s how you’ll inspire yourself with skill and lead your charge.   Finding your why is your compass for life.

If you get stuck here and you really want to seriously find your “why”, then explore the post Discover Your Why and download the free Purpose Pack (PDF).   Janine’s super skill is helping people find their passion and their purpose.  The download is a set of questions that guide you to your answer.

Today’s Assignment

  1. Find your theme.  Distill your story into something simple.  Flip back through your life and find the theme.  For me, it was helping level the playing field with know how and helping underdogs get exponential results.
  2. Find your one thing.  What do you want your life to be about?  Some people make life an epic adventure.  Some people make life a tragedy.  Some people spend their life turning tragedy into triumph.
  3. Create your one-liner reminder.  Let your productive artist come out to play and turn your mission into magic.  You know you nailed it when you suddenly feel like you suddenly have the strength of a thousand bulls on your side, and you are on your path, and you’re an unstoppable force of one.

The surprise is that when you become a powerful force of one, you actually create a coalition of the willing and you become a lightening rod for those that share your values, help lift you up, and spread your cause like wild fire.

Whether you become a fire starter for you, your family, your neighbors, friends, or your community, the world becomes a better place when it’s filled with people with a lust for life.


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