The Power of One

Getting the best from yourself and others all starts with the power of one... One Thought, One Word, One Action. "One" is the first note in orchestrating your attitude. Contrary to the lyrics from a classic rock song, one is not the loneliest number. It's the most important one! Your thoughts, words and actions are like individual notes that work in concert to create the power of one person - YOU - to make a difference. You can harness your power of one if you simply: - catch one negative thought and turn it into a positive one, - think of one thing for which you are grateful at the beginning of each day, - say one "Fantastic!" when a friend asks how you are doing, - assume the best in one upcoming situation, - keep on moving when you experience adversity, - help a friend or colleague during a time when you need help. Many people used to feel that one vote in an election couldn't really make a difference. Well, recent Presidential elections that have been decided by razor thin margins have proven them wrong. A single act does make a difference... it creates a ripple effect that can be felt many miles and people away. Susan Komen's life provides a current day example of the power of one. When Susan was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1978, little was known about the disease and it was rarely discussed in public. Before her death at age 36, Susan asked her sister Nancy to do everything she could to bring an end to breast cancer. Although Nancy wasn't sure that she alone could accomplish this goal, she kept her promise. In 1982, Nancy established the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation with $200 and a shoebox full of names. In 1983, the first Susan G. Komen "Race for the Cure" was held. It attracted 800 runners and raised several hundred thousand dollars. In 2003, the 20th anniversary of the race, 112 races were held across the U.S. and two were held internationally, attracting thousands of volunteers. More than 1.5 million runners participated, raising $88 million for breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment. Since its tentative beginnings, the Komen Foundation has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to eradicate breast cancer and has become the worldwide leader in the fight against this disease. All this good for the world started with one request to one person who took one action. All great things start as one small thing. Life is your Performance There are no dress rehearsals for the performance we call life. We get one chance to perform our life's symphony. No one delivers a perfect performance. We can all expect to miss a note or two, but we should all strive to learn, grow and improve. Being our best is more about the journey than the destination. There are plenty of critics in the world, but don't let them stop you from delivering a performance that makes a difference. Remember, you are the conductor of your own attitude. Did you know that the bumblebee should not be able to fly? Based on its size, weight and shape of its body in relationship to the total wing span, a flying bumblebee is scientifically impossible. The bumblebee, being ignorant of scientific input, goes ahead and flies anyway and makes honey everyday. Ignore the sting of negative inputs and thoughts and replace them with positive ones. If you do, you will be able to achieve things that no one else thinks is possible! Play the first note in your symphony today! Start orchestrating a more positive, powerful attitude. Attitudes don't change overnight, and they certainly don't change by accident. It's your choice. So, practice your instruments and you can be the one to: - expand your team's creative problem solving, - build a more trusting relationship, - enhance your household earnings, - overcome a fear, - create a defining moment for a needy youngster, - make your community safer or - build the confidence of a struggling team member. For the first seven years of her life, Helen Keller was locked in a world of blindness and deafness where there was little human interaction. With the help of her own BEST team who included her teacher, Anne Sullivan, she found a way out of her silent existence and into the real world. Like the bumblebee, Helen became ignorant of her sensory limitations and eventually graduated from college. She went on to become an author, a highly sought-after speaker as well as a respected and powerful advocate for the blind and deaf around the world. That's a life performance filled with positive attitude and positive impact - the kind we all want. One note at a time, one instrument at a time. Orchestrate your attitude and you will get the best from yourself and others!