One thing at a time.

by Megan M. on January 29, 2009 · View Comments (Blog) |

Quite often I find that I use this blog to broadcast the advice my unconscious whispers in my ear. It’s usually excellent advice (that is, if it doesn’t get skewed on the way to whatever part of my brain puts it into effect—or if it gets there at all!). In this case, it’s telling me to do one thing at a time.

The number of things I’ve planned to change has snowballed since I first started to become more conscious and aware of myself and what I wanted. Though I’ve come a long way since then (!) I sometimes am a teeny bit overwhelmed by how very much there is left to do. This includes projects and adventures and the opportunity to help other people—and don’t get me wrong, it’s really important to take one thing at a time as a general rule, because more things get done that way. (Says the god-queen of multitasking. Yes, I’m aware of the irony.) But just for the moment (and because I’m prone to puns of hilarity, watch this, this is super funny…) I’m focusing on one thing: Changes to myself.

There are so many things to be done around here! I bet many of you feel the same way; it can be a little alarming. My impulse is to change them all at once. As quickly as possible! No time to spare, I have things to accomplish!

But if you’ve done your self-improvement homework, you know that changing everything at once just isn’t the way to do it. It’s way less likely to succeed, for one thing. It’s hard to stay focused when you have eight different fundamental fixes to apply to your life on a day-to-day basis. It’s a crazy spiral, and it gets super frustrating. The way to do it… is to focus on one of them.

For me, focusing on one at a time sounds like it will take way too long. Even if I gave each change three weeks—three WEEKS!—it feels like I just don’t have the time to spare. But when I really think about it, trying to make all the changes at once has not gotten me particularly far in terms of those specific changes. In fact, I end up serendipitously making completely different changes half the time—which is totally okay, but it’s not getting me where I want to go. I’m fine with serendipity and successful goal-setting. I’m not so crazy about “or”. (In this case, at least.)

And so the thing my unconscious whispered to me, today, as I was getting out of the shower, was this:

“Be brave. Let one thing at a time take three weeks or a month, and make it good. It will get you there faster, and it will stick better too. I can see this thing more clearly than you can. HEY! ARE YOU LISTENING!?”

That last part made me slip on the tile. Geeze, dude.

  • Nick
    the collective conscious is reminding me to take things one at a time. brilliant!
  • Michael Vanderdonk
    I hope you said 'thankyou'!

    And on a side note that might just let you appreciate full what you mean by 'one thing' read Turtles All the Way Down: Prerequisites to Personal Genius by Grinder and Delozier. ;-)
  • James | Dancing Geek
    One thing? Just one? How about 3? No? 2 for me and 2 for others? No? Errrr, but really, one? That's not enough, surely? I mean, come on, one...?

    I always lose these arguments. Anyone would think there was a reason for that, but I can always play the denial card to win an argument.

    What's that? Battle...war? Sorry...I can't hear you! La la la la la! *fingers in ears*
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