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What Is Your “One Thing”

You are good at something.  If you are lucky, you know what this something is.  If you are even luckier, you have figured out a way to make money and support yourself doing what you are good at and maybe even love.  This is easier said than done… but then again, not really.  Let’s say you are really good at putting your fist in your mouth or maybe you would be a great magician for kids birthday parties.  My mom is really good at needlepoint stitching, she could start craft seminars at senior living homes and not only find it financially rewarding, but also experience personal fulfillment.  I just pulled these two examples out of my ass and there are probably better analogies to make.  For example, if you are a good writer, then you should be a blogger – seems over-used nowadays.  For myself, I have known for a very long time what I wanted to do but there was a delta that took me several years to learn how to bridge.  I will make a long story short.  I have wanted to be a commodities trader ever since I was in the 6th grade.  I know that this sounds silly, but it is indeed true.  My best friend’s dad was a local in the U.S. Treasury Bond futures pit during the 80’s.  He brought me and my friend to the trading floor for a field trip, and from the moment I stepped on that floor I was hooked.  The energy immediately sucked me in and a day has hardly ever passed when I did not make an effort to look up the prices of futures contracts in the newspaper or online.  What has prevented me from being able to be successful at this for long stretches of time was my mental health and lack of emotional discipline.

For the last several years, having realized what was lacking from my traders tool kit, my “one thing” has been improving my mental health and emotional discipline.  First and most importantly, I need to say thank you to my wife.  I would never have been able to focus on my mental health without my wife’s 100% love and support in every way.  Now as things become more high def and I can see what I need to do to accomplish my goal, it is time to execute trades with the emotional skill and improved mental health I have acquired for myself.  Now I have every tool in the tool box I believe I need.  I stay open to learning new things all the time.  But there is one story I tell myself day in and day out that gets me to a place where I can regain my focus on my one thing, if I am taken off course.  

I heard a story a long time ago which I have held onto as a guide for my life to discover my one thing.  Many years ago a single mother and her son had been in a terrible car accident.  As a result of the accident, the boy had his left arm amputated at the age of 3.  There is no other group of people I admire more than single mothers.  They simply are the greatest heros out there… day in and day out.  Over the years the accident had created a very strong bond between mother and son.  Shared adversity creates solidarity.  This mom was always a great example of how to roll with the punches life throws at us.  As a result, the boy never saw himself as a victim… he understood that this was his life and accepted the fact he only had one arm, plain and simple.  

As a result of the example this mom set for her son, when he got older, like most active healthy little boys, he wanted to play a sport.  Needless to say, this made mom nervous.  She did not want to expose her son to the cruelty the world shows those of us with disabilities.  She just knew there would be other parents and kids who would not be kind to her son.  Being a smart as fuck mom, she saw this as an opportunity to teach her son how to handle the douche bags of the world.

It took some time but after a couple weeks of discussion and thought between mother and son, the boy decided that he was going to start karate.  Of the five sports they were considering, this was the mom’s least favorite option.  However, being the confident woman she was, she supported her son 100% and kept her fears to herself.  

When they went to the dojo for the first time, the instructor was very excited to have this young boy joining the group.  He actually looked a little like Mr Myagi from Karate Kid.  After that first day of karate practice, the boy was a bit discouraged.  He shared with his mom that the instructor was only going to teach him one move.  Not two…. nothing.  Only one move, day in day out, over the next six months.  Three days per week and more during the summer, this young boy practiced and perfected the one move his teacher had given him.  After six months, the boy had become the best in the class at this one move and had one every sparring match he fought.  This had an amazing impact on both the boy’s confidence as well as the mom.  It was at the six month mark that the teacher wanted to enter the boy into a regional karate tournament.  While the boy had indeed beaten all of his classmates sparring, mom was still very apprehensive about letting her son enter such a high profile event.  She of course knew she could not say no.

The tournament came, on the edge of the mat before his first match, the teacher reminded the boy that he indeed was the best at his one move that he had ever seen.  All the boy needed to do was execute his move like he had learned, and to TRUST this was all he needed.  The mental gymnastics this requires is way above the paygrade of most young boys this age though this young man was able to master his mind and move forward.  

The boy won the first match… and then the second.  This phenomenal young boy made it all the way to the championship round.  Never before had a kid with no left arm made it this far in the tournament.  The tournament venue was packed with spectators.  Everyone stuck around to see this boy with one arm in the championship round.  Needless to say the mother and son had never been more nervous.  The teacher reminded the boy that he was the best at his move and to stay focused and block anything else out of his mind.  The boy of course went into the ring and executed his move flawlessly… AND WON THE WHOLE FUCKING TOURNAMENT!!!  After the noise had died down and the boy accepted his trophy, he asked his instructor how he could have been so confident and trusting that he would win the tournament.  The answer was a total surprise to both the mother and son. He explained in detail how the only way to counter the move that the boy had learned, was to GRAB HIS LEFT ARM!!!  The boy understood the concept immediately, and the mom started to cry and hug the instructor.  Finding your one thing and becoming the best, is the only way to enjoy success on every level.  It will open up not only financial opportunities in business, but have hugely positive effects on relationships as well as physical health.  Staying focused on that one thing will clear away the noise of everything else distracting me.  My path has become clearer as I continue to focus on my one thing.  Day in and day out I practice my process and trust that those around me will do the same.  Finding that one thing may feel like an impossible task, and that you would never be able to make a career out of it seems just plain outlandish.  Nonsense, don’t listen to the maddening crowd, know your heart and get to that one move where if you execute perfectly, will make you unbeatable in every way.  DIDO