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Do that one thing… which one thing? Ah….

Words from the prophet Rumi:


There is one thing in this world you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there’s nothing to worry about, but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life.

It’s as if a king has sent you to some country to do a task, and you perform a hundred other services, but not the one he sent you to do. So human beings come to this world to do particular work. That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person. If you don’t do it, it’s as though a priceless Indian sword were used to slice rotten meat. It’s a golden bowl being used to cook turnips, when one filing from the bowl could buy a hundred suitable pots. It’s like a knife of the finest tempering nailed into a wall to hang things on.

I would like you to imagine the same – that a king has asked you to perform a task – and, while you have performed hundreds of other tasks, you did not accomplish that one thing you were asked to do.

What I love about this tale is that Rumi never tells you what that one task is.

And I’m not going to, either.

I’m just going to ask, “Have you done it?” and “Are you doing it?”


In a different telling of the same story, Curly, the character played by Jack Palance in the 1991 comedy City Slickers, holds up one finger and says, “You know what the secret to life is? One thing. Just one thing. Once you figure it out, you stick to that…everything else don’t mean sh–.”

How about you?

Are you doing that one thing?

(If not, stop those hundreds of other tasks and do that.)

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