One Thing

UnknownIn the classic movie, “City Slickers”, Jack Palance says to Billy Crystal, “Do you know what the secret of life is?”

Crystal response, “No, what?”

Palance holds up his gloved index finger and says, “This”.

Crystal jokes, “Your finger?”

Palance says, “One thing.  Just one thing.  You stick to that and nothing else matters.”

Crystal asks, “That’s great, but what’s the one thing?”

Then Palance says in a knowing way, “That’s what you’ve gotta figure out.”

This was a scene that has gone down in film history and has been quoted so many times because it’s so simple, it’s profound.

Gary Keller, in his new book, “The One Thing” says this:  “If you want to be average, do all 20 things.  If you want to be extraordinary, do one thing well.”

Recently we talked about how to FOCUS ON YOUR WORK. The idea was that if you want to be productive, you need to control the distractions in your life, rather than letting those distractions control you.

When you ask yourself, “What is my ONE THING“, what comes to mind?

Ask yourself these questions:

*What is the most important thing I’m spending my time on at work?

*What is the most important thing I’m spending my time on when I’m away from work?

*What is the one thing that I have been ignoring too much and I need to pay attention to?

*What do I want to be known for? What’s my impact?

*What do I want to be remembered for? What’s my legacy?

As you answer these questions, it may cause other questions and not enough answers.

The bottom line:  Stop trying to do everything.  Figure out what is the most important thing for YOU to focus on, and work towards doing more and more of that each day.

The British Boy Band, One Direction sings these lyrics in their song, “One Thing“:

“So get out, get out, get out of my mind and come on, come into my life.  I don’t, I don’t, don’t know what it is, But I need that one thing, and you’ve got that one thing.”

So whether you’re being reminded of this from a movie, a book or this song, think about your “ONE THING“.

Defining it, or narrowing out some “other things” might be a great process for you.


Russ Cline has wide experience in church, mission, and global leadership. Beginning in the local church in Southern California, then moving to Ecuador for 16 years to be a part of launching three distinct organizations, Russ is now back in Southern California working with Extreme Response International in providing leadership coaching and organizational development to leaders around the world. Russ' passion is to come alongside organizations and to help them identify areas of growth, focus and change, resulting in greater impact and effectiveness. Russ graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Business and Christian Education and completed his graduate work in Organizational Development. He has been married for 31 years to Gina, and they have three kids: Rheanna, Riley and Raylin. To learn more about Russ, visit: Write directly to Russ at: twitter: leadwithruss, leadermundial

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