Just and Only

In his book “Relentless”, Tim Grover (trainer to Michael Jordan and other world class athletes) examines two words very carefully. The words are “just” and “only”.

Compare the following two statements a business owner may make when losing one client:

  1. “It’s just one client”
  2. “It’s a client”

When you describe the loss as “just one client”, you are smoothing the situation for yourself. When you minimise the impact of the loss, you are unlikely to take action or conduct analysis to recover your position. In this state of mind you will not make preparations to go to war against your competitors.

Compare the following two statements made by someone trying to exercise more frequently and deciding whether or not to complete a training session in the afternoon:

  1. “It’s only one session”
  2. “It’s one session”

“Only one session” negates the value and importance of the session. It gives the person an out.

What if instead of seeing the upcoming session as just another one of many that could be made up for another time, they saw it as irreplaceable.

The completion of this session would strengthen a positive habit, and build further momentum towards the achievement of goals.

Consider each moment as special. Each sales call as unique. Each interaction as an opportunity to accomplish something meaningful.

Here are some other places where these words and rationalisations might pop up:

  • “It’s just one slice of cake” (when trying to lose some weight)
  • “It’s just one cigarette“(when trying to quit)
  • “It’s only one drink” (when trying to cut down alcohol consumption)
  • “It’s only one dress” (when rationalising spending money frivolously)
  • “It’s just one day” (taking a day off when you don’t feel like doing anything”
  • “It’s just one time” (rationalising any unethical behaviour)

Be mindful this week and begin to eliminate the words “just” and “only”  from your vocabulary.