The ONE thing

the ONE thing

“Do you know what the secret of life is?

“No. What?”

ONE thing. Just ONE thing.”

“That’s great. But… what’s the ONE thing?”

Watch Billy Crystal in City Slickers (1991) discover the secret of life. From the tough trail boss and wise man, Curly.

In  just 33 seconds.

“That’s great. But… what’s the ONE thing?”

“The ONE thing. That’s what YOU gotta figure out.”

From a tough and wise man, Curly. Surprise !!!

I just love all of that wisdom. In just 33 seconds.

What is that ONE thing?

The ONE thing that will …

  • move you forward with your fitness goal,
  • help you to achieve your next career goal, or
  • help you to become a better father,
  • or … the list goes on

laser beam focus

When you find that ONE thing,

focus on THAT ONE thing.

focus on ONE thing

Have you noticed…

…that the people whom you admire and respect are focused?

And those who accomplish great things are focused. Laser-beam focused. Are you that focused?

My life often looks more like the clutter of all of the app icons on my smart phone. Just too much clutter in one spot. Too much clutter for one life.

my life is TOO cluttered. no focus.

I chase too many rabbits down too many rabbit holes. I chase too many new shiny objects. I start too many NEW projects. And finish too FEW important projects.

I do get a lot of things done daily. And it feels really good to check tasks as “done” on my daily list. But then nothing gets done on my important goals.

chasing two TOO many rabbits

I’m just chasing two TOO MANY rabbits.

You know the proverb. “The man who chases two rabbits will catch neither.”

We all need help to focus. And sometimes we need to hear from someone important (like my friend, Paul) – that pursuing that ONE THING is the right thing to do.

When you find WISDOM, protect it like your EYEsight !!
focus on that ONE thing

listen to paul

Even my friend, Paul, needed help on his focus. One day when Paul was sitting in his prison cell and working in his goal planner on his lack of focus, Paul tweeted this (#thisONEthing) to his friends.

“… forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I am bringing all my energies to bear on this ONE thing.”

“I strain to reach the finish line and to win the trophy.”

– #thisONEthing – Paul’s tweetable moment

Philippians 3: 13 – Living Bible (TLB)

This is Paul. Pursuing just ONE thing to finish and to win.

Focusing on just ONE thing.

doing just ONE thing…

… to finish and to win. Philippians 3: 13 – Living Bible (TLB)

Let me give you a personal example. Of doing just ONE thing. Something simple and doable.

  • Goal: to weigh 168 #’s (Body Mass Index: 26.3)
  • Current weight: 242 #’s (uggh!)
  • Height: 5’7″
  • BMI: 37.9 – obese (Calculate your Body Mass Index here.)
  • Health risk: great risk for heart disease and …
  • Current situation: having difficulty just walking after a total hip replacement. And having difficulty with the discipline to walk consistently.

Now. How… ?

… to get from 242 #’s to 168 #’s?

Let’s keep this real. And specific. Let’s start with all of my attempts and failures to reach this weight goal.

This example is so simple I’m afraid you will ignore it. Please don’t. Here goes. Achieving these simple goals are steps to reaching big goals.

I have progressed from being partially bed-ridden (due to severe osteoarthritis), to using a walker, to using a cane, to walking without a cane.

It’s not an undoable goal to lose 74 #’s. And at a height of 5’7″ – yes, I am considered morbidly obese (with BMI = 37.9). And this weight loss is a challenge. I’ve had several failed attempts. So I just need to restart – and to find the ONE thing to do to get there. Daily.

I discovered focusing on just weight loss is not working for me.

I know I need to change all of my poor lifestyle and nutrition habits. But I have failed at this after several attempts.

Since I used to be an avid runner (running a 10K every other weekend many years ago), I set a target goal of competing in a Sprint Triathlon. And, again, another attempt resulting in another failure.

Next. I set a goal of running a 5K (3.1 miles). Actually I just want to start and finish a 5K – walking or running.

I have scheduled and re-scheduled this event. More than once. Due to failure to lose weight. And walking difficulties. Another series of failures.

one step at a time

So. My daughter, Libby, bought me a Fitbit. If you don’t know what a FitBit is, look here.

Simple, right? Just track the number of steps you take.

focus on the process
the magic is in one-step-at-a-time

And I realized I can track my steps without thinking by using a FitBit. Keeping the process easy and simple. And I just move towards my goal literally one-step-at-time.

My goal is 8,000 steps per day. So after multiple failures to lose weight,

My ONE thing is…

…to walk 1,000 steps every morning at 10 minutes before the hour.

Starting at 06:50 a.m. through 11:50 a.m. Simple. Not pretty. Not glamorous.

Just do this ONE thing.

  • No audience.
  • No applause.
  • No trophies.
  • No ribbons.

Just do this ONE thing. Every day. Every hour.

My Fitbit vibrates at 10 minutes BERFORE every hour to remind me. Simple. Just do ONE thing.

I don’t have a target date for my weight loss goal. Because that kinda thinking has failed for me in the past. Resulting in epic failures.

My last weight loss goal was so unsuccessful. That I just gained more weight.

Nor have I set a target date to run my first 5K.


Walk 1,000 steps when my FitBit vibrates. At ten minutes before the hour. Just 6 times per day. Every day.

putting one foot in front of another
putting one foot in front of the other

It’s 06:50 a.m. My FitBit is vibrating. Time to walk. No glamour. No applause. No excuses.

I’m just listening to what my friend, Paul, says to do – “I am bringing all my energies to bear on this ONE thing.” To finish. To win. To reach the goal. Philippians 3: 13 – Living Bible (TLB)

What IS the ONE thing?

Do you remember what Curly (from City Slickers) says? “The ONE thing. That’s what YOU gotta figure out.”

So. What’s YOUR ONE thing?


Thanks to Pat Flynn…

… for sparking this idea of The ONE Thing for me in a recent blog.

Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income recommended a book called The ONE Thing. I just read it. And am reading it again. And taking more notes this time.

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