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Light Reading for the Heavy Heart: Do The One Thing – And Reward Yourself


“If we think of everything we have to do, we feel overwhelmed. If we do the one thing we need to do, we make progress.”

Simon Sinek

There is so much in life that overwhelms us. At times, it can feel like a full-on assault on our lives, mental health, and even our finances. Being overwhelmed, thankfully, is temporary. We don’t have to allow our circumstances to dictate our state of mind.

Two years ago, after the death of my husband, being overwhelmed became my normal state. I felt like I was constantly trying to outrun an avalanche. This is what I told my doctor. Thankfully, she put me on anti-anxiety medicine. Did this cure my anxiety forever? No. But it helped me get into the right state of mind to do “the one thing we need to do” as Simon Sinek suggests.

I like to pair the one thing with a reward. Psychologists call this psychological pairing; I call it bribery. This is how I managed heavy workloads when I was a secretary and difficult emotional tasks as a widow.

I would decide, for example, that I would fill two bags of my late husband’s clothes. Once those two bags were full, I would donate them. Then, as my reward, I had a cheeseburger. It sounds silly. But when I looked at his side of the closet and all of his belongings, it became too much. I had to do the one thing. Just that one task. Once complete, I rewarded myself.

Doing the one thing gives you progress. Progress, in the right direction, brings light to your soul and lifts your spirits. Some days the one thing is taking a shower. Other days, the one thing is applying for a new job.

Being overwhelmed is temporary. I promise. Do the one thing and you will be able to sort out your tasks one at a time. Clarity is on the other side.

Today’s Thought

I am able. I am capable. I control my tasks, appointments, and calendar. It does not control me. I will do the one thing today and reward myself. I am awesome and worth feeling peace. Guilt has no say in my life today. I will not allow perfectionism to control me. I’m going to do the one thing.

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