The One Thing that Changes Everything


What is the one thing that will change everything in your life?

The one thing that will make everything else possible. The one thing that is blocking everything else from happening. It might be one thing you have to stop. It might be one thing you have to start. Whatever it is, it is the one thing you should focus on every day until it is so firmly stamped within you that it runs through you like a stick of Brighton Rock

Why focus on just one thing?

Change is practically impossible. Up until now we have spent the whole of our lives weaving the individual strands of our habits and behaviour until we have fashioned a cable that is so strong, fixed and unrelenting that it is almost impossible to change. This is the science of Neuroscience, the finding that the brain is moulded by experience to repeat experience.

If you are a relatively representative member of the human race then you won’t have a lot of time to focus on change. You probably have to work, study, juggle a family and social life, eke out some time for yourself, relax and grab a few hours sleep. Strewth, when do we ever get time to do anything new, let alone make real and lasting change in our lives?

We forget our reserves of energy are limited. We might be a morning person, or a night person, but few of us are a whole day person.

And yet! Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. We start the New Year with great aspirations of all the resolutions we will achieve. We fill up our planners with ‘To Do’ lists. We live under the fantasy that if we put it down on paper we can do it, all of it! I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I still toil under the illusion that one day I will finally get it all done. Of course I never will.

Then come the excuses. I was too busy, I was too tired, I had to deal with such and such. OK, I might have been a little over optimistic.

Then come the recriminations, the harsh words from the inner self critic, the depressing sense of failure. The feeling that I’m just not good enough, I’m too lazy, I’m just not motivated, I’m disorganized, I need to be more focused, I need to be more disciplined.

It all leads to a mild sense of despair. The ‘To Do’ list starts to feel like a ship’s anchor. The New Year’s resolutions have quietly and discretely vaporized. It’s depressing, disheartening, discouraging, it weighs on us. Why can’t we change?


We have to break the delusion that change is easy if only we apply ourselves. Once we accept this there is only one conclusion.

We should focus all our efforts and energy on one thing only.

For each and every one of us there is one thing that makes everything else possible.

You know what it is!

Tear up the New Year resolutions. Forget everything else. Devote every day to the one thing that will change your life. Give it every ounce of your energy, every fibre of your motivation. Keep it in your focus in those few mindful moments that are the gift of a day.

And be kind to yourself! Remember, motivation and energy don’t last all day. You will fall off the wagon. Your motivation and commitment will wane. But in those few lucid moments you will know in your heart and soul that it is worth the effort. It is worth starting again and again and again.

Do it!

What is the one thing that will change your life?

The One Thing that Changes Everything

4 thoughts on “The One Thing that Changes Everything

  1. Sally says:

    Jerry, there’s so much truth in this. I’ve heard these habits described as keystone habits and mine is a morning routine of meditation and journaling. It creates a spaciousness and calm in my day which allows me to get intentional about other things. I love this reminder. Thank you.

  2. Lovely to hear from you Sally 🙂 I love the name ‘Keystone’ habit. It seems to sum up exactly what I’m trying to say. A Keystone in a bridge holds up the whole arch, without it the arch will collapse. Similarly, there is one thing that will enable everything else. For me its dealing with distractions. My focus this year is ‘No distractions’

  3. “Change is practically impossible” yet is happening all the time at a level beyond our awareness. When we bring awareness to the neuroscience it all makes sense and becomes a the door way to conscious change. Nice post Jerry!

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