Just One Thing

Perdita Masters
4 min readAug 6, 2022
image Abi Evans

I like wise sayings, mottos, and phrases to live by.

It’s different from being a self-help fan. I’ve been there, read those books, worn that t-shirt. Self-help is a rabbit warren that is fun for a bit but it can make you feel a whole lot worse, or it can zap all your time, energy and money chasing it.

Occasionally I’ll read a book like Self-Confidence by Paul McGee, or The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson but I find them a bit self-indulgent and admittedly these particular examples are on my bookshelf still unopened.

A motto or phrase hits differently. Maybe it’s because I like playing with language. I admire when some can encapsulate a whole feeling or a big idea within one short sentence. I mean, how clever is that, to impart wisdom that carries great meaning in just a few words?

I saw a great one posted by Shannon Ashley on Medium earlier today… ‘Your feelings are not facts’. So true! My feelings are up, down, all over the place. I know my feelings lie to me and I mustn’t trust them, especially if I’m tired.

Another great one — so simple yet so true… Never go food shopping on an empty stomach.

And another that I live by… Never go to sleep on an argument with a loved one.

But the phrase that inspired me to pick up the keyboard today; the motto that is the consistent theme of my life; the one that keeps me going when things feel tough…


Each day just find one positive.

It’s not about getting 1% better, stronger, richer.

It’s not about achieving one big thing.

It’s about survival, and being kind to yourself, and keeping going with gratitude.

A few years ago I read a self-help book or article that talked about reflecting back at the end of each day and writing down three positive things that had happened. Something like that.

I ended up turning it into a sort of daily ritual where each night I would plan three things that I wanted to achieve the next day. I was reading lots of content at the time about time management and coping with a heavy workload.