What is your "one thing"?

Photo Credit - Beverly & Pack

Photo Credit – Beverly & Pack

This is Labor day weekend.  A time for one last fling at the end of summer.  Americans will be grilling and hanging out with friends and family.  This holiday was created to celebrate the American worker.  But the American worker is struggling, living paycheck to paycheck and spending the majority of their waking moments in a job that is not their passion.  If only the American worker could discover their “one thing”.

What is the “one thing”?

It is the “one thing” that you will “go to the the wall for, work without pay, stay up late at night, sacrifice short term pleasure and most of all multiplies the energy that you invest in it.

Have you ever been in the middle of a project or endeavor that brought out the best in you?  The vision and your passion for it caused you to work longer and go farther than you ever thought possible?  What was it that fueled that passion?  What if your career could be filled with that kind of passion?
Chances are… that this project deeply connected to something that was important to you.  I remember when we were constructing the first permanent building for my church, Cornerstone Church of Augusta in 2000. I had a tremendous passion for the project.  On that project, I worked all day as a paid employee for one of the contractors and then worked late into the evening as a volunteer.   I did this for weeks and while I was physically exhausted.  It was incredibly fulfilling. I was so excited to be a part of something bigger than myself and to see what was being accomplished.
So what was the source of that passion.  This project connected to a number of things that were important to me.  First, it connected with my skills and work that I enjoyed.  Second, I had been involved in the work of a “mobile” church and was ready for a more permanent facility.  Third, I had time, energy and money invested in the project.  Finally, I value my church family and it was an opportunity to serve them.
Now back to the question, What if your career could be filled with this kind of passion? What could you accomplish?  How fulfilled would you be?  What kind of difference could you make in the world? Do you have to settle for “punching a time-clock” to make a living?
These are significant questions.  We do not consider them very often.  So let’s take a little bit if time to explore this possibility. There are two things required for this to become reality in your life.  First, you need to know and understand what your “one thing” is.  Second, you need a plan and way to make that “one thing” your career and provide the financial means for you and your family.

So here are some questions to help you discover that passion.  (We will look at how to make that your career in later post.)

  • What are you most thankful for?
  • What is most important to you?
  • What do you want written on your gravestone?
  • What are your pastimes and hobbies?
  • What do you like to read?
  • What do you like to watch on television?
  • What is your personality like?
  • What activities bring you the most fulfillment?
  • Who do you admire?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • What are your greatest weaknesses?

I encourage you to write out the answers to these questions.  Then read them back to yourself and look for common themes.  As you examine your life through these questions your “one thing” will emerge.  Then write out your “one thing.”
Now I know that this will probably not literally be only one thing.  For me my “one thing”  consists of two main parts.  First, I want the time flexibility that allows me to be significantly involved in my relationships with God, my family and my friends.  Second, I want to invest in helping others fulfill their destiny.  It is this vision and passion that motivates me to embrace life each and every day.
May you discover your “one thing” and commit to finding a way to make it your career.  The world needs more people who are living from their passion rather than “punching a time-clock.”  There is hope.  It is possible and You can do it!

Have you defined your “one thing”?  What is it?

Share your thoughts in the comments below

– Brian

If you want a jumpstart on a plan to make your “one thing” your career check out these books

48 Days to the Work You Love: Preparing for the New Normal – Dan Miller

Day Job to Dream Job: Practical Steps for Turning Your Passion into a Full-Time Gig – Kary Overbrunner