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  • Writer's pictureJerry Brook

Whats the ONE thing

What’s the One thing that I need to know? Or, if I could only do one thing, what’s the one thing that I should do?

I believe that everyone has either; heard, been asked, or even asked, those questions.

Well, I am going to answer that question for you!

How can I possibly answer that question, after all I don’t even know what it is that you are asking about?

It’s easier than you think, and I believe that you yourself already know the answer.

First, if it were just that simple to be “Only One thing”, then, why hasn’t anyone told you this magic solution already? We all should be shouting it from the roof tops at this point. Just do “this” and all will be better with your particular situation. Now take a big sigh of relief, you can sleep better at night.

If it were just that simple that there was this one “grandiose” thing, then, why isn’t everyone doing this wonderful thing already? And, if everyone is already doing it, then why aren’t you? How is it that everyone else knows this magic piece of advice, except for you?

Why is it that people are keeping these simple, yet remarkable, answers from you?

  • What’s the One thing that I need to know; to have a better relationship?

  • What’s the One thing that I need to know; to get ahead in my career?

  • What’s the One thing that I need to know; to raise a child to adulthood?

Clearly these, and all, questions have many facets. Therefore, there are actually many questions, and of course many answers.

There are many paths leading to the questions, that is, depending on your past, your background, your perspective, gives different context, or interpretation, of the question itself.

As well, there are many destinations where these questions lead to, what does it mean; “to have a better relationship”, “to get ahead in your career”, or, “to raise a child to adulthood”?

There are really two problems here; one, you think that complex situations can be reduced to a single simple solution, and two, others are willing to humor (or take advantage of) your delusion.

Think of it in these terms, if you aren’t; clear, specific, and direct, in your communications it allows the other person, that is the answerer, to say whatever they choose and still be considered as addressing your concerns.

It’s like this, the simpler the question the more complex the answer, and vice versa, the more specific, and clear, the question, the simpler the answer. The more details that the question includes, the less leeway that the answerer has in crafting their response.

In most cases these types of, broad, vague, questions lead to foolish, nonsensical, answers. “What’s the one thing to do in order to succeed, or get ahead, financially?”, Well… “Buy Low, Sell High”, of course. Why didn’t I think of that, just what I needed!

So, why are people drawn to things that are so overly simplistic that they get to the point of being meaningless?

  • People don’t know how to ask questions. They don’t know how to properly phrase, or express, what they are thinking, or what they really mean.

  • People get overwhelmed by what they see as too many possible variations, or criteria.

  • People don’t know what is relevant and what isn’t, what is significant and what isn’t.

Because people don’t know how to specify their needs, they don’t want to limit their question, even though that is exactly what needs to be done. By asking broad, vague, questions, they are non-committal.

People get overwhelmed, they get “Analysis Paralysis”.

I can do simple, I don’t know if I can do complex. Simple comes off as “assured”, that is, certain and confident. Simple is easy to understand, simple often just reinforces our own previously held beliefs.

The problem is not that life is complex, it just isn’t quite so simple.

And, these simplistic answers, or views, don’t help, therefore they are at best a waste of time, at worst they may be wrong and therefore detrimental.

The problem is that when the answers don’t work for you, is it your fault, did you not understand, do you not follow directions, was it just not meant to be, OR, is it the answer?

Do you ever stop to ask that last question? Was it the answer that was incorrect, not you?

I told you that I would answer the question of; “What’s the One thing”.

Drum roll please…

The “ONE” thing that you really do need to know, is this; nothing of substance, significance, or importance, can be reduced down to “ONE” thing.

What You Need to Know Challenge

This week’s challenge for you is to; stop asking for the easiest way, stop listening to those who would give you the simplest of advice, and stop believing that a) things of meaning can be expressed in simple easy terms, while b) also, not believing that things of meaning must be overly complex and too difficult for you to understand. (Give yourself some credit, you’re smarter than this).

Good Together: your guide to healthy, happy relationships

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