Remember the promise of multi-tasking? You know…the concept of doing it all, by doing lots of things at the same time. The idea fed our desires to achieve efficiency beyond our wildest dreams, and meant that we could save precious hours by devoting fractions of our attention to a variety of tasks in every moment.
By now most of us have heard or figured out that multi-tasking is a lie… but we still believe it.
Even though experience tells us the truth, our insatiable appetites for living large and trying everything, coupled with increasing options and decreasing attention spans, have created an expectation that multi-tasking our phone calls, texts, meals, road trips, workouts and transformation is THE answer to squeezing every drop of goodness out of life.
The One Thing
Let me ask you this very simple (or maybe not so simple) question put forward by Gary Keller in his book “The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results”:
“What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
The subject of Gary's book is productivity, but the value it offers is to hone our attention and sharpen our focus around the important steps we need to take in order to live happier and more purposeful lives. Answering this simple question isn't always easy because it starts with letting go of the thinking that got us in trouble in the first place.
Our “All-You-Want-To-Eat” approach to health and wellness
Health and happiness is a priority for most of us. And these days, there are a multitude of options for getting there. The Internet has weaved a web of information, tips, tricks and suggestions, fourteen, twenty one and thirty-day challenges, diets, supplements and approaches to getting results that are shiny, enticing and gleaming with possibility.
Each one of them appeals to our “All-You-Want-to Eat” sensibility, because who doesn't want it ALL? But deep down we all know the truth…because we've all done our time in the buffet line.
Most of us have, at one or more times in our lives, been lured by the siren song of getting more done in less time, seduced by the allure of killing a minimum of two birds with one stone. I know I'm not the only one who’s ever determined to change all (okay, most) of my unhealthy habits over the course of 30 days — armed with an unreliable supply of willpower and a handy-dandy checklist.
I talk to people everyday who are buckling under the pressure of everything they're saying “yes” to in their lives. And in my efforts to talk them down off the ledge (and myself, on occasion) I've taken to asking this one question…
Is multi-tasking our health and wellness really serving us?
One of the many things I love about Ayurveda is that it's not sexy. It's simple, practical, and empowering. It doesn't make big promises or claims, it doesn't guarantee results in 30 days, or your money back. Its scope is vast, covering every aspect of living from how to eat, sleep, exercise and poop (the potential for checklists is nearly unlimited), to how to dance with the changing moods of your environment for optimum health and happiness.
Though the scope is vast, its message is powerfully clear…
“Go slow. Make just one small change in your life at a time. When that one change is established. Then take on another. It’s amazing how one small change at the level of consciousness will positively impact your physical and emotional well-being.” – Dr. Marc Halpern – President California College of Ayurveda.
So rather than go on (I think you get the gist of all of this), I'll leave you with this one thing; My rephrasing of Gary Keller's pivotal question…
What's the one thing you can do today such that by doing it you'll feel happier and healthier?
It can be a scary thing to even attempt to answer this question knowing that action comes next…but it can be liberating beyond all imagination.
So if you're ready to commit to it, share it in the comments!