A while ago, I was at the Los Angeles airport on a business trip when I picked up a book called, “The one thing: The surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results” (By Gary Keller and Jay Papasan). I loved its simplicity of being able to cut thorough the clutter to get to what matters most – It was like the Pareto principle (the 80/20 rule), but on steroids! 

Borrowing the “one thing” concept, I have a rather BIG question to pose:

“If there was room for only ONE WORD on your tombstone, what would that word be? 

Perhaps you might be thinking, what’s the point…why does it matter anyway?

Whilst the truth is that no one can just be defined by one word – however, the answer to this question points to a very strong part of our identity, and therefore has a big influence on how we filter the world, how we think and behave, what drives us and also at the same time what limits us.

My one word would be “passionate” – I can easily become passionate about anything that falls into the rather broad category of Inspiring myself and others to deeper learning  reflection and purposeful action…for greater success and fulfilment.

 Whilst on one hand, being passionate is a gift..it has given me the focus, courage, determination, resourcefulness and action orientation in my life. But on another hand, when my passion is out of control, I become very direct, protective, inflexible, dogmatic, sledge-hammerish etc.

 I think there is a lot of truth in the statement that: “Every strength overused becomes a weakness.” 

 In closing, here are some questions you might consider to reflect on:

  • What would be the “one word” on your tombstone?
  • How is that “word” enhancing your life?
  • How could that “word” be limiting you?

I hope that sparks some deeper learning and/or reflection and/or purposeful action!

Till the next time, BE Authentic, DO Inspiring deeds and LIVE with purpose, passion and peace.