Evan Carmichael explains how we all have one word that defines our life. When we find that one word, and live by it,
the quality of our entire life changes.
I’m going to share a secret with you. A secret so powerful that once you discover it, every decision you make in your life and business will become easier. Doors will start to open where before you struggled to make any progress. You’ll finally feel like you’re living your life with a purpose instead of fighting the world around you. Great leaders have used this secret to build powerful companies, spark important movements and create meaningful change, and now you can too.
Here’s the secret.
There is one word that defines who you are. There is one word that connects all the things in your life that make you come alive.
Think about the friends you have, the music you listen to, the books you read, the movies you watched, the companies you’ve worked for, the businesses you’ve started… Think about everything in your life now that you enjoy. They are all connected. Until you figure out what that connection is, you’ll never live up to your potential.
What’s your favorite song and what does it have to do with who your best friend or favorite book is? The answer is everything. And it can be boiled down to one simple, powerful word.
Great people can be described in one word. Martin Luther King Jr – equality. Oprah Winfrey – heart. Steve Jobs – impact. You________?.
If you want to break free from the chains of mediocrity and really make an impact, then it starts with finding your one word. You have to stand for something powerful and important.
On August 23rd, 1963 a quarter of a million people went to Washington DC to hear Martin Luther King Jr. speak at the Lincoln Memorial. How did he get so many people to come out? He didn’t have a newsletter or a Twitter account. He wasn’t making Youtube videos or using Google ad words. He didn’t have a website, didn’t use Facebook.
He didn’t have any of the tools that make it so easy for us today to reach people and start movements and yet 250,000 people came out. Why? Because he stood for something important. The cause he believed in touched people’s hearts and led them to action. It was so important that people willingly spread the word and promoted his cause because it was their cause too.
The process you’re about to go through is important. It’s one of the most valuable exercises you’ll ever do in your life. The results are life changing. We’re going to go over the five core questions:
Number 1: What makes you happy?
Number 2: What connects your happiness?
Number 3: What trait do you hate?
Number 4: What’s your constant?
Number 5: Is this really who you are?
And then we’ll discuss the four limiting beliefs that hold you back from doing something great:
Number 1: It’s too bold.
Number 2: What do you think?
Number 3: Someone else is doing it.
Number 4: It’s too simple.
Have an open mind. Be honest with yourself and eliminate all distractions for the next few minutes. Let’s go.
If you want to achieve success, start with what you happy before worrying about what your one word is. Think about everything that makes you happy. Start by making a list. Just write down what comes to mind and don’t worry yet about where it leads. You get lost in happiness and make your list. Here are a few questions to get you started:
What is your favorite movie?
What is your favorite book?
What is your favorite song?
Who is your best friend?
What is your favorite quote to live by?
What kind of people do you like to hang out with?
Who was your favorite boss?
Why are you with your significant other?
Who was your favorite teacher?
What do or did you love most about your parents?
What activities make you come alive?
What do you look forward to most in your week?
When was the last time you felt overwhelmingly happy?
Answer these questions and add whatever else comes to mind that makes you happy. Fill the page with happiness and feel the energy that comes from it. This is where the magic starts to happen.
You have your page of all the things that make you happy, right? If not, do it now. It’s important. Don’t just watch another video. I want you to take action.
There’s one common theme that connects all the things that make you happy. You may have many reasons why Mrs. Jones was your favorite teacher. There could be 10 things you love about your favorite movie that people you hang out with have lots of different personalities, but there is one theme that unites them all. One thing they together share. This is a connective tissue that will make all your future decisions easier. This is the powerful mantra that will give you a sense of purpose and help you change the world for the better.
This is your one word. Find the common theme in the list of things that make you happy and write it down. If it doesn’t pop off the page the next to each of the things that make you happy, write why you like it? You’ll notice a pattern that emerges. Some words will come up over and over again.
Take the words you’ve used most commonly to describe your happiest moments and group them together. If you can’t get it down to one word yet, don’t worry. Just try to get the final list from this exercise down to five words or fewer. Now we’re making progress.
Some people get their one word immediately. They have their one word and they’re ready to apply it. If that’s you, congratulations. For most people, the process is long and requires digging deeper. You may have written down multiple words and steel feel unsure how to narrow them down to just one.
Does it have to be a verb? Can it be a noun? How about an adjective? The answer is any of them. Verbs are often the easiest because they are action oriented. You might want to inspire the world or make an impact or contribute or shine or love, but it doesn’t have to be a verb. For example, maybe your heroes, your grandmother, Jane, so you try to live a life inspired by her. Jane becomes your one word.
You can also combine multiple words that may seem like they’re not related into a more meaningful one word that unites them. For example, if you love adventure, but you also value caring for others, maybe your one word becomes hard, which you would define as following your heart adventure and being heartfelt towards others caring. You take two seemingly unrelated words and bring them together to form your one word like heart, to better define who you are and what kind of life you want to live.
This is a process. You may have picked the word, but you’re not confident that it’s right. You may feel that what you chose is too big, too daunting, too scary. If that’s you, keep watching. We’ll figure it out together.
If you don’t know who you are, then start by thinking of who you aren’t. Going negative helps a lot of people clarify their search for their one word. Think of all the things that make you unhappy and make a new list. Write down the people you can’t stand being around, the tasks you hate doing, the movies you never want to see, the things that make you dread going to work.
Make a list of everything in every one that makes you unhappy. Make it real. Make it painful. Nobody is judging you here. If you can’t stand the thought of seeing aunt Suzie at Christmas, put her on the list, but be careful…
This is not a list of your fears or your limiting personal beliefs. It’s a list of the traits that you are truly allergic to that just bring you down and that make you unhappy.
The list is the start, but the power is in seeing what connects them and Susie, the boss you hated most, the people you despise being around the task you dread doing, they too are all connected. What theme binds them together when you’ve got it? Think about the opposite to find your one word. For example, if you’re negative team is neglect. Your one word might be care. If it’s discouraged, your one word might be inspire, destroyed turns into create, hates turns into love and so on. Your one word is not a new year’s resolution. This is not deciding on a ward because you were inspired by your speech that you heard or seminar you attended.
It’s not picking a word to be the person your parents or friends want you to be. Your one word is a constant. It has always been with you and will always remain. It’s who you are and always have been. Think about your favorite movie from 10 years ago or from when you were a little child. You’ll still like that movie today. You’ll still like it in 20 years, even though the special effects don’t seem as great and the technology is dated because that movie means something to you. It represents a theme that is at the core of who you are. So is your one word.
Your one word isn’t something you get bored of or grow tired of. It’s always there and always will be.
If you’re still trying to decide what your one word is, look at your list of things that make you happy and think back to 10 years ago, which word best describes who you were back then?
Think about how you imagine your life in 20 years. Which word best describes who you’ll be?
What Is Your One Word
Then many things will change with time, your opinions, your environment, your family, your friends, but your core value, your one word doesn’t change if you’re still having a hard time finding your constant. Think back to your parents. There’s a reason psychologists ask their patients to talk about their relationship with their parents. Now I’m no psychologist, but I have found fairly consistently that someone’s one word often has roots back in their childhood and with their parents. Quite often the core values you have today come from your parents. They shaped the way you see the world, how you should treat others and what you consider good and bad behavior. If your mother was carrying and she might have taught you to care for others care. If your father was resourceful, he might have instilled resourcefulness in you.
Resourceful. The opposite can also be true. You might have seen something in your parents that you never want to embody, so you take on the opposite of their values. If your mother had a gambling problem and constantly risks, every paycheck she earned, you might seek the opposite of risk security. If your father ran out on you when you are young and was never there for you growing up, you might crave the opposite of unreliable, dependable. Spending a few minutes thinking about your parents and the mark they left on you could reveal the answer to finding your one word. You can build a life and business around security or dependable, just as much as you can around belief care or resourceful. You’re parents impacted you in positive and negative ways. Having an awareness of their impact can set you up for future success.
What you might ask if my one word is money, it’s not. If you think it is, you just haven’t found out what truly makes you come alive. Now, don’t get me wrong. Money is great. Money lets us do amazing things. We need to make money to stay alive and the more money we make, the more we can build. But understand this money is a tool, not a core value. It can help take you where you want to go, but it’s not the driver. There is always something deeper behind the need for money and until you figure that out, you’ll always limit yourself. Money comes from providing value. If people aren’t willing to pay you for what you’re doing, you’re not giving them enough value. On the flip side, the way to make a lot of money quickly is to provide a lot of value quickly.
Why do you love money so much? Say your dream is to make enough money in the next year to travel around the world. What you’re really seeking isn’t money. It’s adventure experiences or excitement. What most people do is set a money goal then try to figure out the fastest way to reach that money goal they take on business opportunities that they aren’t excited about because it promises to move them closer to their money goal. They tell themselves they don’t care what they do within reason as long as it brings in the money because that’s their real goal. They say it doesn’t matter, but it does matter. Money comes from giving value and if you don’t have the love for your business and you won’t put in the crazy work that’s needed to provide that value, you’ll quit as soon as it starts getting hard and the idea of working hard at something you don’t like just so that you can live the life you want at some point in the future is crazy to me.
Start living that life now saying that money is your one word is a crutch. You just haven’t dug deep enough inside yourself to discover who you really are. For all of this to work, you have to be brutally honest and real with yourself. This isn’t about who you should be or hope to be. It’s not about what your family wants you to be or what your culture tells you to be. It’s about who you really are and leveraging that to build a purposeful and happy life for yourself. It’s about living your version of your life and following your dreams, not theirs. If you keep living in a world where you can’t be yourself and you’re constantly striving for this ideal life of someone who isn’t who you actually are, you’ll never be fulfilled. You don’t have to be ashamed or afraid of your one word. It’s who you are and it will guide you for the rest of your life. Look at your one word and ask yourself, is this really deep down who I am? If your answer is yes, you’re ready to move on to build something awesome. If you answer no, go back and try the exercises again. Sleep on it, reflect on it in the shower. Go for a walk in, think about it. Meditate on it.
John Paul Dejoria, his parents divorced when he was two when he was nine he sold newspapers and Christmas cards door to door to help his family when his single mother wasn’t able to support him anymore. He was sent to live in a foster home in Los Angeles where he joined the gang and we’re his high school math teacher told him he would never succeed at anything in life. His later jobs included being a janitor and an insurance salesman. Today he’s a billionaire.
Oprah Winfrey was originally named Orpah, but people mispronounce it so often that she kept the name Oprah. She was born to an unmarried teenage mother who worked as a maid. She spent the first years of her life in poverty and was so poor that she often wore dresses made out of potato sacks and the local kids teased her about it. She was molested by her cousin, uncle, and family friend when she was nine at 13 she ran away from home and at 14 had a child who died prematurely. She is currently North America’s first and only multibillionaire black person.
When Abraham Lincoln was nine years old, his mother died from an illness. He was formerly educated for less than one year. He gave all the income he earned to his father until he was 21 the first love of his life died when he was 22 or three of the four children he had died before they reached adult hood.
His wife was eventually committed to a mental health asylum, and he suffered from melancholy, now referred to as clinical depression. In his political career, he was defeated eight times, trying to be everything from a congressman to senator to vice president. In 1860 he won the election to become president of the United States and is now considered to be one of the greatest presidents in American history. How did their stories compare to yours?
It’s hard to imagine that you had less support than John Paul Dejoria had fewer resources and Oprah Winfrey or more personal setbacks, and Abraham Lincoln, you have in this video and inside you the tools you need to succeed. It’s up to you. Act Boldly for your sake and the world’s belief.
Related Blog: The Power Of Encouraging Words
The Gift That Keeps On Giving by Elle Sommer
- What Is Your One Word? This Principle Will Change Your Life!
- Angry All the Time for No Reason? This Might Be Why
- Why You’re Overthinking Everything by Henrik Edberg
- Stop Taking Things So Personal Learning by Abigail Brenner M.D.
- Why You’re Hiding Yourself in Fear of Being Fully Seen by Meghan Yule-Rosen