To Follow Your Dreams You Must Know Your 1 Thing

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The 1 thing is not a goal. Its not a destination. Its not even a thing, really.

The 1 thing is a purpose. Your reason for being. An inner guide post, helping you carve the path of your dream life.

How to discover your “1 Thing”

First, find some quiet time away from phones and pagers, screaming kids or screaming customers. Give yourself a chance to reflect on the essence of who you are. Not what you do or what others say you are. Just be still – and be. Then find some blank paper.

1. Start by making a list of the things in your life that you want. Write down as many things as you can – and don’t stop until you hare happy that your list is complete. (Anything is game here…things, wants, ideas, goals – there are no restrictions when it comes to your wants).

2. Then, create a list of things in your life that you don’t want. Sometimes, this is just a list of the exact opposite of list #1. Sometimes this list is longer than the ‘do want’ list. Don’t worry about anything, just keep writing.

3. Next, highlight a few of the “most wants” and identify anything you think think is in the way of having it. For instance, if “going on a long vacation” is on your want list, highlight it – and jot down things like “money” or “I have to work” if those things are actually in the way of taking a vacation.

4. Then, write out your own eulogy. Many people balk at this, feeling that it is too morbid of an exercise. But the goal is this – you want to think about yourself after you are gone. Your legacy being the only thing left behind. What will people say about you? How will they remember your life? Seeing your life through their eyes may help you go deeper in describing who you are and what your complete life was about.

5. Take some time and review what you have already written down. Look for common themes. What words have you used more than once? What feels familiar and true? What feels off or strange?

6. Craft your essence statement of your “one thing.” This is sometimes easier said than done, because you may struggle a bit to make sure it sounds logical, or that it would make sense to others. It only has to make sense to you.

If you knew what your one thing was, how would that help you follow your own dreams?

Below is a clip from one of my favorite movies, City Slickers – This is where Curly talks to Mitch about the importance of knowing “the one thing.”

Until next photo,


Remy’s dream is creating opportunities for photography showings and public displays of her work.

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  • I love this movie too – thanks! r

  • Love this post and love this video clip.

    Thanks for the reminder and the steps.