Crunching the Numbers: A Compelling Look at the Power of One

oneAhh the holidays, what a wonderful time of year.

There’s nothing quite like getting together with family and friends to reflect and rejoice, to share and to celebrate.

But alas, like most things, these festive reunions must eventually come to an end.

Nevertheless, it’s good to spend time with loved ones—it’s always good to be in…good company.

Of course this holds true not only among social circles. Anytime you can surround yourself with a group of compatible individuals is time well spent.

Fortunately, never has this been more easily achievable than today, and nowhere it seems is it more in full swing than in the thriving industry of Personal Growth and Achievement.

Since the advent of the internet, online forums, virtual communities, even global networks geared to help you be the best you can be have been popping up like wildflowers, and as a card holding member you are cordially invited to the party; to become an exclusive and well-to-do part of the so-called, “Revolution.”

Now this should for all intents and purposes be considered a good thing, after all, like they say, “There’s strength in numbers.”

Just bear in mind that when it comes to your own personal growth and achievement; when it’s about your Everyday Hopes and Dreams, you simply can’t dismiss the notion that the most powerful number of all is one.

And that one―that almighty enabled one and only one—is you.

Again, groups, forums, organizations, whether on site or online can be super helpful in a number of ways, but in the grand scheme of things these chatty little love fests are merely part of the equation, a small slice of the self-improvement pie.

So the question is once the convening flock has flown the coop, after the superhighway herd has hit the road, where will you find your inspiration?

Who’s gonna provide you with that much needed motivational nudge?

Well, Well, Lookie Here

I was lookin for love in all the wrong places

Lookin for love in too many faces

…and so on and so forth

In case you haven’t yet guessed these are the two opening lines to the chorus of a popular song recorded by country music singer Johnny Lee back in 1980.

Okay? So in the words of the incomparable Ms. Tina Turner, “What’s love got to do with it?”

Well you see, as with love, when on the prowl for inspiration we often have this foolhardy tendency to send our feelers searching aimlessly about, when more times than not what we’re looking for is right in front of us..

Now before we continue, let me just point out that ‘inspiration’ is a highly subjective word, in other words, it can mean many things to many people.

For our purposes, however, let’s assume it’s rooted in a deep down personal longing or need.

For instance, let’s suppose there’s something you want to accomplish, something that if it came to fruition would be like…well, downright amazing.

Well then it only goes to reason that your ‘number one’ source of motivation would come from pursuing that which you wish to accomplish.

Why?

Simple: once that latest greatest up-to-the-minute swashbuckling session of hell yeahs and high fives has wrapped for the day, you my friend have got work to do.

And not just any work mind you, but work that could very well be some of the most gratifying and downright motivating you’ll ever have the privilege of doing.

That being said, be forewarned, because as with anything worth doing this rewarding work comes with a price.

Meaning it can, and no doubt will get lonely at times.

Yet rest assured…

You’re Not Alone

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, is a delightful book in which  Mason Currey illustrates the daily routines and rituals of some of the most interesting and iconic personalities of our time. And while each one has his or her own unique and sometimes rather eccentric methodology, what’s prevalent throughout is that the bulk of their work (which include some of their finest moments) came about during a time of absolute solitude.

For example:

Pianist Igor Stravinsky says he worked on his compositions daily with or without inspiration. And that he required utter seclusion for the task, always closing the windows of his studio prior to beginning.

“I’ve never been able to compose unless sure that no one could hear me.”

Also noted was that in the summer of 1930 the Faulkners purchased a large dilapidated family estate in Oxford Mississippi. William liked to work in the library, and since the door to the library had no lock he would actually remove the doorknob and bring it with him so to keep from being disturbed.

And although not referenced in the book, it is widespread knowledge that while his teammates had long since hit the showers after practice Kobe Bryant would remain out on the court.

“He’d practice by himself, ‘sometimes without a ball,’” says longtime teammate Shaquille O’Neal.

“When he did start taking shots he’d count every single one, and wouldn’t stop until he hit 400.”

And get a load of this, as a struggling young writer Steven King regularly wrote behind the closed doors of the laundry room in their then rented trailer.

Go Figure.

Anyhow, we could go on and on, the stories are endless.

The point is that highly accomplished individuals regularly and repeatedly do what needs to be done.

Moreover, they indomitably do so with little concern for any congenial support or encouragement.

Yep, once again the holiday season is behind us, like a travelling tent show that’s pulled up its stakes and scampered off into the sunset it has come and gone.

Suffice it to say the party’s over.

The gifts have been exchanged.

The celebratory toasts have all been made.

The fine china’s been washed clean, wiped dry, and delegated back to its appropriate resting place.

In all, the cheerful solidarity has given way to a time of quiet contemplation.

So as you silently ponder the untold possibilities of this brand New Year; as you continue to forge down that long and often lonely street of dreams, I hope you have huddled in your corner all those who share your ideals and support your innermost ambitions.

But if not, no worries, because in the end personal growth and achievement isn’t so much about a group effort as it is about a personal commitment.

One for which only you (aka numero uno) can ultimately be held accountable.

See ya Feb 1st, till then, keeep it up.


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