Jack Palance's character, Curly, had a line in that movie that has resonated in my mind for many years. He was speaking to Billy Crystal's character at the time. He held up one finger and told him something I never forgot. The entire sceen is below, embedded from youtube.com for you to see.
So what is that "one" thing? Curly was right, it really is different for all of us. For Billy Crystal, he discovered what that one thing was. Curly never told what his was, but it was obvious even in this scene that he had already discovered his own. I think that was because Jack Palance himself identified with the character.
Jack Palance had discovered that one thing early on in his life. It wasn't the ability to act or having a career in Hollywood. Jack Palance was a Heavyweight Boxing champ, winning his first 12 matches by TKO. His boxing career ended with the beginning of WWII though, and after he was wounded in combat, he received the purple heart, good conduct medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. He never watched any of his own movies. He spoke 6 languages including Ukrainian, Russian, Italian, Spanish, French and English. He was a graduate of Stanford University. He had a cattle ranch with over a thousand head of cattle and yet was a vegetarian. He was a painter and a published author, and the father to three children. Jack Palance had peace of mind. That was his "one" thing.
Having peace of mind isn't easy to accomplish. It's not for the lazy or reckless. It's not for the judgmental, the selfish, the mentally weak or the physically strong. Peace of mind comes only to those who have obtained the peace of heart.
The way I deal with stress is unusual to most. That is my "one" thing, the way I handle situations. That directly relates to my secret to life - less stress.If something is bothering me to the point of feeling stress, I sit back and think rationally. If I can fix the situation causing stress, I stop worrying and fix the situation. Then I don't have a reason to stress. If I can't fix the situation, then I stop worrying because it's out of my hands and I move on to the next situation that I can fix and I don't stress. Life has managed to throw one curve ball after another at me and either I step up to the plate and knock it out of the park or I step aside rather than let it hit me in the face.
When someone tries purposely to upset me, I turn off the negative emotions. They never did me any good anyway. I think calmly and rationally. In many cases, if the point was to upset me, the only thing it does is upset the pursuer. I make it obvious that they are not able to raise my blood pressure and that angers them more. The more calmly I state the facts with a slight smile on my face, the more angry they get, the more I find it humorous that I've once more succeeded in winning the argument by not arguing. They may grow as angry as they like to the point of yelling and screaming at the top of their lungs and yet I will remain stationary with a slight smile on my face. If I can fix the situation, I will. If I can't then I won't worry about it.
People confuse this rational side of me with coldness; contemplative, calculating cruelty. That's not it at all... it's patience. To be patient is to rule your own world.
I'm such a never ending patient person that I would rather be an hour early for something than have anyone wait 5 minutes for me. I am more patient than most and don't mind waiting. Because of that near phobia of being late, I've only ever been late twice in my life... once was to deliver my son. He was a few days overdue when he was born.
Patience and rationality have provided me with the control over my own life that I've searched for as long as I can remember. Even the moments of removing myself emotionally in order to think rationally about a situation can be contributed to patience. Some people think I'm too young to know what my "one" thing is, but I know already. It's different for everyone, but my "one" thing is patience. Through patience, all things are possible.
"One of the most important reasons for living is to do something - live outside of yourself and put together an idea, an idea that you want to explore and then complete... Awaken your creative sensitivities!"