The Power of ONE

The Power of ONE


Last January, my husband and I were watching the Farmers Open held at Torrey Pines in San Diego. On the back nine, there were six players, any of whom could have won that tournament. Scott Stallings, was one of them. He needed a birdie to pull this off and he did just that, shutting out the five other players all of whom were just one stroke behind him. My husband shouted, “One stroke, Jan, can you believe it, he won it by one stroke!” While watching the tournament it struck me how significant the number one can be. Just when it looked like a playoff might be inevitable, Scott clinched the tournament and walked away with the $1M win.

The Power of ONE Torrey PinesONE FOCUS…

Rather than set New Year’s Resolutions this year, I decided to focus on one word that had the potential to significantly help me achieve some much needed lifestyle changes this year. My one word for 2014 is health. I want to be more physically fit and be living a more balanced life by this time next year. After identifying areas of my life that were out of alignment, I began asking myself with each daily choice that presented itself, “Is this healthy”? Is eating the entire box of Godiva chocolates a client graciously gave me, healthy? Is working six or seven days a week healthy? While I am passionate about my profession, I knew this was not a balanced way to live. Interestingly, the past four months of evaluating choices through this filter has recalibrated my focus and is bringing about changes I have struggled with for years.


On a recent fifteen-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia I had the strange impulse to figure out where we might land if our pilot was just one degree off course. I was stunned to learn there was a high probability we would have experienced a water landing — definitely not our intended destination! If you think about that over a lifetime, one degree off course makes a significant difference.

Let me draw a parallel to your financial life. Just as a carefully calibrated GPS can help you land within twenty-five feet of just about any intended destination, a carefully calibrated financial plan can help you chart a course that truly reflects the desires of your heart and creates a more meaningful legacy for your heirs. Often, however, given the choice between lifestyle today and financial freedom tomorrow, many people opt to live for today, an action that incrementally draws them farther off course as time goes by.

We have all been given gifts of time, talent, treasure, and relationships to help bring meaning and purpose to our lives and make a difference in the lives around us. Money is not the end goal. It is a tool — granted a very important one — to help us realize this purpose. Can you identify areas in your financial life that you could apply my “Is this healthy” concept? Here are some starting points: Are you thinking long term and preparing for retirement? Have you defined your financial finish line? If God has blessed you with excess, are you ensuring it is a blessing and not a curse to those you are leaving it to? How are you preparing your heirs to be wise stewards? For some it may begin with a focus on cash flow planning or a consistent pattern of saving. For others, it may be establishing a comprehensive estate plan or intentionally discipling your heirs. Everyone has a unique course they are traveling and the longer this important one degree concept is ignored, the greater the chance of a “water landing”.

One stroke… One focus… One degree… they all have the potential to make a big difference as time goes by! What one focus will help you be in a different financial place one year, ten years, thirty years from now? There are 360 degrees and every one of them matters. Pick just “one degree” today that will focus your financial life on long term impact and start thinking about tomorrow, today!

A sidenote:, I believe in this concept so much that my company has just merged with another like-minded firm and we are now operating under our new company name: One Degree Advisors, Inc.

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More Reading: Selecting a Financial Professional

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