The Power of One: Why a single minded long term vision leads to higher probabilities of success in business and life.
If you asked most people what their goals are they would probably start listing out a number of things. Nobody has JUST one goal. Our ambition, like our mind, is multi-dimensional. I myself am always working on seven different things at a time.
However, working on a number of different things is stressful and anxiety-producing. It can be very overwhelming to be juggling multiple things, hoping that nothing falls. We’ve all been there before and know the feeling.
The reality is that our lives are in a constant state of flux. If we attach ourselves too closely to multiple goals, we will never gain true peace of mind. Instead, we must pick ONE thing. we must prioritize one long term goal as a north star that precedes anything else we are doing.
Isaac Newton once wrote that “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” Ironically, we live in a world where there seems to ONLY be a multiplicity and confusion of things. You can stroll Instagram for 20 minutes and have the urge to hike Patagonia, buy some new shoes that you saw your favorite artist rocking, and debate quitting your job and buying a small cabin in Alaska. (is that just me?)
At the bottom of it all, we all have a deeper vision. We all have that ONE thing that really matters. In order to figure out what that is, try this exercise out:
- Write down all of your goals and ambitions (literally anything you can think of)
- What is the most important to you? Get that list down to 20 things, then 10, then 5
- Ask yourself, “which one of these would have the biggest impact on my happiness?” “which one of these, if achieved, would make the other goals irrelevant?” “which one of these would positively impact my friends, family, and the world at large?”
After doing this, you should have a much better idea of what you want out of life. Once you make a plan to get there, you can begin the journey with a conviction that comes from striving for what you truly want. You can say NO to things that move you from that truth. And you can breathe a sigh of relief in accepting that life does not have to be so fucking complicated.