All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind.

- Khalil Gibran

It’s Donald’s fault. He started it. If he knew I was saying this about him, he would laugh and say, “Come on, unk.”

He and I have talked a lot about life, dreams, personal development and books. Reading and books are subjects that come up in almost every interaction.

“What book are you reading?” we ask each other frequently.

During a family outing a few years ago, he had an epiphany. Our conversations began to make sense for him as did the reason for the questions about goals, books, reading, dreams and on so forth.

“Now I understand what you have been doing,” he said. I smiled.

It was a priceless “aha” moment.

Now, he initiates the discussion about books as often as I do and usually is not only recommending a new book to read but also sending me one he enjoyed or thinks I would like.

Recently, he threw down a challenge that is taking hold with several people, each now focused on one word for their life in 2013. He has been influenced by yet another book: One Word that Will Change Your Life , by Jimmy Page, Jon Gordon and Dan Britton ( www.getoneword.com ).

Suppose the driving force for your success in 2013 resulted from your focus on one word as a theme for the year. A word that influences and guides your actions across the many important areas of your life to include your spiritual life, health, business, relationships, etc.

I noticed a comment he posted online two days before the New Year was ushered in, about the book and how it can help you focus on your goals without being overwhelmed.

“I like the concept and will put forth the effort to implement my one word,” he shared. His word for the year: Discipline.

He wanted to know – actually he was challenging his family, friends and followers – the one word that will change your life. I thought about the question and posted my response: Breakthrough.

Greg followed, posting “Achieve” and Leonard shared “Committed”.

About an hour later, after downloading and reading the book (it is only 82 pages), I updated my response. “ My word, now that I have read the book, looked in, and looked up is: faithful. It was sent to me as I slept. Now, time to look out and live it. Thanks for the book introduction.”

It isn’t so much about selecting your word for the year as it is responding to three questions with a word emerging that takes root in you: What do I need? What’s in my way? What needs to go?

It’s important to go through the process of answering the questions as described in the book and to get this important point by the authors: “Too often, we focus so much time on getting our One Word that we miss the real power – the why behind the word.” They go on to explain that “the why is always more important than the what.” The “why” behind your word is the motivation that drives you forward with focus, clarity and purpose.

I recommended the book to several nieces and nephews with this challenged: If you don’t like it or it doesn’t make a difference, I will reimburse you. You can’t lose with that offer.

“Uncle Nigel, what a wonderful book! My word for 2013 is freedom,” wrote Alexias. “It’s funny ... I already sense a change!”

“I found my ‘one word’ guys! It’s ‘fearless’,” wrote Kim. “I’m so excited about this experience.”

I shared the book with a few friends, too. Teddy’s word is “NOLIMIT.” He is following his passion. Todd’s word is “Focus.” Professor Medley, an elementary school principal, radio host and blogger shared his word, too: “My word is ‘Forward’ ” he tweeted.

The authors encourage you to share your word with your inner circle (your stretch team) to encourage, motivate and celebrate your success.

“I will touch base with you from time to time to see how it is going,” tweeted Professor Medley.

“Faithful” and “Forward” we go.

What’s your “one word”?

Make sure you never miss our editorials, letters to the editor and columnists. We’ll deliver the Journal’s Opinion page straight to your inbox.

Load comments