Month: December 2016

December 3, 2016 Dr. Jim Claussen

The Power of One, The Power of YOU

one sign

One might seem an insignificant quantity, but consider the following:

  • At 211˚, water is really, really hot— one degree more and it's boiling!
  • Save $1 a day for one year and you'll have $365
  • The Chicago Cubs won the world series by one run
  • If a flight path from LA to NYC is altered by 1 degree, you'll land in New Jersey

The quantity of one can yield substantial outcomes!

What if you granted yourself the freedom to pursue change one thing at a time?

Wanting it All Right Now

When we dream of creating the life we've always wanted, the picture is full, vibrant, and complete. We fool ourselves into thinking that the new healthy lifestyle, the new career, the new relationship can manifest in the blink of an eye. We're sorely disappointed when one day of effort doesn't show us enough progress to motivate us to keep going. We give up and nothing changes.

There's nothing inherently wrong with wanting it all. The challenge is re-calibrating our expectations and constructing action plans that are achievable and sustainable. Winning takes persistent effort and it's important to set ourselves up for the win in every pursuit.

Right Sizing Expectations

Setting our sights on achieving an epic reality is useful in conjuring the motivation and reconnecting to our why. However, when it comes to taking meaningful steps in that direction, we need to zoom in and contemplate the small actions required to manifest our desires.

That means chunking it down into increments of one. That powerful quantity that turns really hot water into boiling water. That unit of measurement we often dismiss as having little to no value is what we need to hold on to in order to make seismic shifts.

It All Adds Up

A single crochet stitch, one cut of a piece of wood.

The artisan knows that a single stitch when combined with thousands of others will become a finished afghan, a family heirloom. The woodcutter knows that a single carve when combined with countless others will become a child's toy.

The artisan doesn't give up after one stitch because the afghan hasn't magically appeared. The woodcutter doesn't give up after one carve because the toy hasn't yet become real. Instead, they understand that with dedication and persistence, the single stitch or carve will add up to something special.

The same goes for those of us striving for optimum health. One balanced meal, on its own, doesn't do much to create long-term fitness. However, one such meal three times a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year adds up to something remarkable.

Stay in the Present

I felt it even as I was writing it. The idea of eating balanced meals everyday for year feels impossible! That's why it's important to focus on the meal in front of you, the one happening now (or in the next few hours). Don't worry about the meals that come after that.

The artisan doesn't let the thought of a thousand stitches dissuade her from her work. Instead, she focuses on the stitch in front of her, then the next, and the next. She stays present to what is happening right now and lets the rest unfold as it may.

If your plans for health and wellness include exercise, avoid thinking about all of the effort required to maintain the activity for the next year, next month or even next week. Pay attention to only what needs to happen today. Be present to the 20 minute walk around your neighborhood. Be aware of the 60 minute run on the treadmill. Focus only on the 45 minute yoga routine.

In time, you'll find that work on the concept of one will create your desired outcome.