The Power of One

I stood there, looking at the Bahia grass waving at me in the afternoon breeze. Seven hours of school had already passed. On a normal day I would be on my bike riding home. But not today. Today I had to begin mowing, or else the lawn would not be ready for the weekend.

In a fit of enthusiasm and wonderment at the opportunity to earn $30, I had put my name in for the job of mowing the property occupied by our church and school. It was about three acres.

Three had seemed like such a small number when the job was being considered. Three now seemed like an impossible number.

My little Sears push mower with a Briggs & Stratton engine, at 22 inches wide, seemed as reluctant as I was to rev up and get started. How many rows of 22 inches would it take to complete three acres?

At the young age of 12 I had never mowed any lawn larger than the meager patch of grass in the lawns of the trailer park where we lived. Four passes of the mower, and that job was completed.

I never dreamed that a Gold Mine of Life Experiences were waiting for me in this job.

Make a Path

I surveyed the job. I wanted each pass to be as long as possible. With trees and bushes and buildings, few long, straight paths available.

A few minutes passed, and no path through the grass had yet been made. Mockingbirds seemed to be mocking me. Blue jays jeered at me. Could I actually do this job?

Finally, I yanked on the starter rope and the machine eagerly jumped to life. The pistons pumped, the blade whirred.

In contrast, the boy stood immobile. Where to start?

With my fingers gripping tightly on the handle, I finally stepped forward, and heard the satisfying sound of grass being chewed up and then spit out the side chute. I took another step, and enjoyed the sounds again. Resolutely, I pushed across the field.

I didn’t look behind to see what I had done. I fixed my eyes on the other side of the field and guided the machine to the target. At last, I stopped, turned my grass-chewing tool 180 degrees and looked back at where I had started.

One Pass

I had successfully completed one pass in that vast sea of waving grass. This was a job I could do, I reasoned. If I can do one pass, I can do two, then three, then… And the job will be done!

One pass. That’s how a job is begun. And that’s how a job is completed. It matters not what the task is, what the challenge is. On that day, long ago, I had begun the first of many experiences that taught me the Power of One.

What is the Power of One? It is you. It is me. It is one person at a time seeing what needs to be accomplished, and taking one step toward the goal.

Write one word. Speak one word. Make one change. Set one goal.

One. I can do One. You can do One.

One day, Today. Begin with one.

Conquer Fear

Fears and doubts will jump out and try to scare you and discourage you. The task may seem too large. The reward may seem inconsequential. You may feel inadequate, overwhelmed, busy… Change is scary. One step in faith is scary.

Find one friend that will be your cheer leader. Find one friend for whom you can be the cheer leader. One.

When the task is worthy, when you are called, take that first step. Make that first pass. Your Power of One may be all that others are waiting for.

But even if not, you will be changed by the work.

A real gold mine is worked in the same way, one pick, one shovel, one cart-full. Life’s Gold Mine contains riches more valuable than yellow nuggets.


The changes that you go through, will prepare you for bigger things. The Power of One becomes an Exponent of Two. Exponential development is amazing!

About a year after I began this three acre mowing job, I was offered a five acre job. I took it. And today, I am married to the daughter of the family that hired me. What if I had believed the job too large and turned it down?

Step out. Start the journey today. Get busy creating your own Gold Mine filled with experiences to prepare you for the challenges of tomorrow .

And the joys.

One pass. Experience The Power of One.


What personal experiences have you had with the Power of One?

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Thank you for reading.

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