Do you know what the most difficult thing a human being can do is?

It is doing just one thing.

That sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But it is true.

First of all, you can just heed the Industrial Steel Icon Andrew Carnegie’s words:

“Put all of your eggs in one basket and watch that basket.”

There it is, stated in the simplest of ways.

I say this out of experience and not from a position of success but a position of failure. I can tell you with 100% certainty that Andrew Carnegie’s words are true.

It is true from just about A-Z in matters of life.

If you get married, put all of your eggs in one basket. (I know there are circumstances where doing this may be harmful, and of course it is wise to get out of damaging relationships) but in general, the statement holds true. Divorce and break-up are both monetarily disastrous as well as psychologically crippling.

Choosing a home is such an important factor. I believe that one should purchase a home, no matter how small, and keep it forever. So that no matter where you go you will always have a place that you can call your own. Living in one place for a lifetime is a wise choice if you are looking for stability, security, and profitability.

Your line of work. Nothing is more difficult than becoming a success in your chosen field and it doesn’t matter what it is. If you are a bus driver, or a dishwasher, a teacher or a CEO of corporations, staying in your field and becoming the best in the world at it and establishing an unshattered reputation is one of the most profitable and least taxing things you can do.

If you are an artist, musician, author, or some sort of creative, establishing a quality and dependable reputation is probably one of the most difficult things a person can do. If you go around from one place to the other, always looking for a greener pasture, you will never gain any traction.

It is true that sometimes you have to move to do your art, but changing what you do is disastrous. Looking for the pot of gold is a waste of time. Why? Because you ARE the Pot of Gold.

You cannot become a “Master” at anything if you are always changing what you do and changing what got you to where you are right now and people can’t count on you if they don’t know what you are all about.

A life spent doing something on a daily basis in the same place with all of the best energy you can muster is the fast track to success. Jumping around from thing to thing, trying to figure out “if this is going to work” isn’t the way to build a great reputation.

Driving your stake in the ground and saying “This is what I do, this is who I am, this is what I am about, this is where I will be, and if you need me, I’m here” is probably the best thing you can do to guarantee your success.

When I go shopping at the grocery I often see a woman who I went to high school with. She has been working there since the store opened. So does her husband. When I go shopping it is always great to see her. Isn’t it good to see people you know, trust and like in town doing whatever they do to make a living?

There is no job that is professional, it is the attitude of the individual that makes it professional. Be the solver of problems. Be the person people are glad to see in your work, as well as in your private life.

I’ll admit this is a difficult task for me. I like moving around, trying new things, seeing what works. But, I also am becoming aware that this is not the way to establish a life for the future.

I sang opera and theaters for over 20 years in Germany. I loved it. It is an unbelievable career. But, I was always worried I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t making enough money, and had no security, so I would look left and right to find ways to secure my existence. I left my career, it didn’t leave me. I didn’t trust my talent or my character to be something that would get me to the highest level of success in that genre when all people are looking for is someone that can actually do the job, someone that can sing the role, look the part, come to rehearsals, do a stable performance, and treat people well. Most of success in things like the opera don’t come with a single event, but more upon a steady stream of consistent work. Running around, trying to do something else does nothing but erode your abilities, your reputation, and your income.

Anything you do can make you successful, but it is all important to become the best in the world at it over a long period of time until which point someone looks in an encyclopedia or Google’s it and sees an occupation with your picture next to the definition as the most well known in that area.

But, that is all philosophy, right? What is the ONE THING everyone needs to do to become a success?

That ONE THING is to build your private financial estate.

The management of the business side of life is the most important single task a responsible citizen if they want to be a success in life. It does no good to grow corn if you are going to drop it on the ground when you harvest it and lose all of it. It isn’t what you make in life that is important, it is what you keep, and if you are always losing ground doing frivolous and stupid things, then you are setting yourself up for a life of misery and poverty.

Now I am asking myself, “What is the rest of my life going to be about?” “Where am I going to drive my stake?” It isn’t a question of how much money I will make, because I have learned it isn’t about how much you make, but how much you keep.

When you are approaching the age of 60, you begin to realize that you have 5 years until retirement. You have 20 years until you are 80. The previous 60 years are gone and if you are like me, you have completely lost your area specialty and the youthful vigor to achieve things over a long period of time.

What is retirement really?

It is freedom. Freedom is what everyone wants. So, if that is THE most important thing for you, then it is something you have to work for every day.

Freedom can only be achieved when you can say that you are someone who people can depend on because you don’t go around attaching yourself to things you cannot commit to. It is about telling the truth so that you never have to go back on your word. It is about being the person you say you are and saying who you are without committing yourself to things you don’t deep down truly want to be a part of. Don’t lie to yourself, and don’t lie to others about your intentions as difficult as that sometimes is and as much as others try to convince you that is where you need to be, or because they want you there. Nobody wants to be around someone who is looking for the way out.

The truth is, we can only do “One Thing”, and if that “One Thing” is constantly changing from this to that, following some road just to turn off onto another one, then that meandering leads to nowhere fast.

I’ll admit, right now, it is a very hard thing for me to do.