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By nature, humans find comfort in routine. We love habits, as they make life comfortable and cozy. Instead of having to confront the dreadful anxiety induced by facing the unknown, we can simply find a soothing rhythm and live within the confines of that comfort zone. Of course, there is a downside to living a robotic existence. When we settle into a life of complacency, it quickly becomes stale, and at best, we end up striving for mediocrity.

How do we overcome that inclination and utilize our time on earth to truly live an awesome life?

The answer is to remember the power of 1.

Many people assume that the power of 1 refers to what the individual, or perhaps God, can accomplish. However, for me, the 1 represents journeying from zero to something which has a value. If you had string of 6 consecutive zeros, the number would still be worthless. However, if you simply added a 1 before them, you would suddenly have a million! If we could add a 1 before every action in life, it would be tantamount to infusing purpose and meaning into everything we do.

Suppose your existence were reduced to spending each day turning a wheel. You would probably find it to be a painfully tortuous chore.

But what if you knew that the wheel was powering a generator that sustained a person on life support? Sure, the task would still be painful and boring, but having that knowledge ignites a new perspective which adds purpose and transforms empty zeros into millions. It is specifically through a purpose-filled perspective that we unlock the strength, joy and untapped potential that lies within each of us. When we know what we are living for, it motivates us to do more with our time and to live a greater and more meaningful life.

The greatest way to fuel our daily existence is to think about others. By looking for ways to uplift our spouse, children, neighbors, friends and coworkers, we are placing 1’s everywhere we go. When we find opportunities to uplift the lives of others, it shifts the focus from our many zeros and adds value to everything we do. Even when we do something as mundane as going to work, the gym or watching TV, having a reason and a purpose (such as for family, or to be more productive) makes those tasks purposeful.

Life has many forms of currency that people value, such as money, clothing, cars, food, movies, trinkets or video games. All of these “things” are placeholders. They are mere zeroes that occupy time and space and will ultimately craft the epitaph that is our legacy. Thus, even if we were to amass an abundance of all these “things,” at the end of life, of what value are they really? Therefore, instead of only amassing zeros, we should pause each day to look for the 1’s and find ways to add purpose, meaning and goals to everything we do!

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After 13 years serving as a congregational rabbi in Iowa and South Carolina, Ari Sytner returned to his roots in New York, where he helps inspire and motivate individuals, couples and communities to maximize their potential. In particular, he uses his training as a social worker and educator, combined with humor and ancient wisdom to train leaders, uplift audiences and help guide his clients therapeutically to move past addictions, dysfunction and strife to find balance and happiness in their personal and professional lives.

His recent blog has been shared around the world as a relevant conversation piece aimed at empowering people from all walks of life to improve their lives and relationships. As a proud father, husband, kidney donor and eternal optimist, Ari has a contagious energy that reminds people to not settle for complacency, but to live an awesome life that matters.

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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. I like this concept of adding a 1 to what you do. It’s simple to remember and implement. Here’s to more uplifting acts.

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