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What is your one word?

June 25, 2013

I’ve been tossing around the concept that, at any moment, our lives are about one word. One word that expresses that which is compelling us from deep inside to step forward into a new truth for ourselves. Once we know our word (it’ll change over time), then we know what decisions to make toward our truest self, our destined future and ultimately, happiness.

The first person I talked to about this said her word was “rest.” She was through being over-taxed, over-stretched and over-burdened. She was practicing saying “no” so that she wouldn’t be so stretched, taxed and burdened and would have time to rest.

When I first inquired of myself what my one word is, I knew the answer immediately. Being somewhat of a word hound, I pulled out my dictionary/thesaurus to make sure I was capturing the spirit of my word.

My word, for this point in my life, is stillness.

Stillness, n: freedom from agitation.

Yep, that’s the one.

This is my word because it is very important to me to hear my truest voice speaking to me  – because when I can, I have a quiet confidence about what to do, what to say, when to just be. It’s magical, simple and freeing. When I am experiencing stillness, it is much harder for anyone or anything to yank me around – which these days is what I want.

So, to test my word (and just for fun), I looked up synonyms for “freedom” and “agitation” so that I could do some mixing and matching to gain some subtlety and nuance to my understanding of what it is I am after.

Match any word in the left column with any word in the right column with “From” in between:

Freedom Agitation
Independence Troubled in mind
Liberty Anxiety
Autonomy From Frenzied
Exemption Overactive
Release Disquiet
Ease Disturbed.

Aren’t those great? My favorites are “Exemption from Disquiet” and “Autonomy from Anxiety,” “Release from Frenzied.”

That’s what I want in my life. So now, when I am faced with a decision, my one word “stillness” guides me. Can I cram one more meeting in my day? Yes if it doesn’t impact stillness, otherwise, lets make it another day. Can I speak at one more event as a favor to someone? No, that takes me away from stillness. Want fries with that? Nope.

The reason this matters is that I am super curious about happiness and fulfillment – what impacts them, what makes them unfold, just how great they can be. I am curious about you, I am also curious about myself. I want to know just how happy and fulfilled I can be. Don’t you want to know that about yourself?

What is your one word at this moment? I would love to know what it is and why.

I assure you that you, and only you, know the answer.

Name your word, then live it. Watch the happiness and fulfillment unfold.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. randallgamby permalink
    July 3, 2013 2:54 pm

    “Surprise” is my one word. I strive to surprise people with going the extra mile for them (unfortunately it seems this is becoming a lost art). I love to be surprised by how people interact with me (keeps me from creating generalizations about people and to recognize each individual’s uniqueness). And surprises in life (we only go around once, I don’t do it in a rut). Thanks Sara!

  2. Stephani permalink
    July 11, 2013 12:05 pm

    Randall, it’s really nice to see your post! I witnessed firsthand how you’ve used surprise for customers as a Burton Group analyst, and I love to see that you still surprise people with the extra mile to this day.
    As for me, “growth” would definitely be my one word. Life is constantly throwing me experiences to grow from, and luckily, I’ve found no shortage of fascinating, intelligent people to help me with advice along the way. On the flip side, I love to watch other people grow. I’ve found that there’s nothing more satisfying than to see someone overcome a challenge that was daunting to them at first.
    Thank you for this thought-provoking post!

  3. January 31, 2014 4:15 pm

    Purpose. I am working each day to Prioritize with Purpose, which means reviewing actions, opportunities, and priorities and relating them back to my core values and personal brand as a wife, mother, entrepreneur and sales professional. I love your one word theory and have been very impressed with your leadership from research and speaking with your team. You have some big fans. And that is something to be very proud of as a leader. Your stillness must be paying off 🙂


  1. Your Words. | Listening to IT

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