One and done.

It’s an attitude and a highly infectious sickness that is running rampant in the free world and there doesn’t seem to be a cure that could shake us away anytime soon. It’s sad really. With so much opportunity and abundance which is afforded to everyone, instead we choose to take on the destructive mentality of one and done, of scarcity, of failure and of believing that we only have one shot.

It’s a defeatist attitude. A losing mentality. A frame of mind that leads us to much substance abuse, neglect, and conflict of all kinds.

The one and done mantra needs to be resisted and fought on every corner and at every turn. It’s simply false. Nothing is ever singular or unrelated to something else. No mistake is ever catastrophic. Everything moves in a circular fashion. Everything is plural, connected to everything else, and a mistake here, is a victory somewhere else.

I have always chuckled at all the romantic notions that God in his wisdom has created someone unique for you to be with. You know, the one! And so you end up crying, pining, and doing anything you can to search for the one, but you are humbly unaware that the one had a terrible and chronic bout of diarrhea the other weekend, and was tragically run over by a clown car, and so you’ll have to look for the next one, but of course if you knew, you’d simply be done.

When your husband leaves you, you will never love again. When you get fired, no one will ever employ you. When you pick up a musical instrument, it will always sound like that. When you try to make a new dish, it will never be as good as the recipe. But that’s precisely the illusion and danger for our lives.

We cannot live and hope to be happy when we run and gun and are one and done. We need to appreciate that is a series of moments. Moments of being and of doing and no matter how tough or how easy life gets, you can’t allow yourself to complain about the one and feel guilty about the other.

You have to resist the self serving and self satisfying urge to be done and never try again. You can never stop those feelings coming at you. You can never free yourself of their intensity, but you can make a commitment to your life that no matter what you are going to keep going, that you will never lose hope, that you’ll clutch on to faith, and that you will forever make each hesitant step with love.

I know all of this sounds pretty and nice, but you should really try to live it out. Our world does not need any more downcast eyes and hidden smiles. It doesn’t need to hear how bad things are, what we can’t do, and why things are never going to work. We don’t need to spend time justifying how its just human nature, sociologically predictable, or psychologically justifiable.

The one and done mentality has no place in the free world. It doesn’t have much place anywhere, but the rest of the world deals with different forms of oppression that need to be righted first. This defeatist mentality is the cancerous mental state of the the so called free, democratic societies.

The cure seems simple. Never say die. What that means is that you need to commit yourself to moving forward under all circumstances, and under a barrage of unpopular opinion. You can’t wait for a beautiful sunny day to get started, and you cannot stop when thunder shows up and it’s beginning to rain.

You have to immunize yourself with hope. Real cheerful hope that is open to the many possibilities and comfortable with less than ideal results, not to mention mistakes.

Retire the words I can’t and I quit from your vocabulary. Abandon the philosophy of one and done.

Say yes to possibilities, drive forward, and don’t forget to help others along the way.


Cover photo generously provided by photographer Samuel Zeller via