Game changer. Now there’s a word that’s being overused in our hysterical ‘success’ social media culture, but this book actually is worthy of the label.

The book urges you to find one word that connects everything you find important in life.

This one word will then make everything easier.


Evan Carmichael, the author, claims finding your one word will

– give you more direction

– lead to smooth decision making process

– will help you focus

– it will help you ditch the unimportant stuff

– what you do based upon your one word will come from the values you hold dear

– people will see what you stand for much more easily

– it will be much easier for people to remember you if they only have to think of one word

– you can build an entire culture around this one word, with logos, slogans, symbols, rituals and a tribe with people who also live and breathe this one word

– you can pick a mentor based on your word, someone who, dead or alive, represents the values and the spirit behind your one word

– if you have a company it can revolutionize your hiring process, because you are hiring based on one word. Does the applicant embody that one word or not?

If you feel like you’re all over the place, find it hard to define what you stand for, can’t seem to prioritize and if people are confused about what exactly it is you are doing, then this book is the wake up call you’ve been waiting for.

He gives several examples of thriving companies that have built thriving businesses around their one word. Words such as #joy, #awesome, #honest, #family.

Evan’s one word is #believe. His symbol is a paper plane that takes off and eventually get the speed of a jet plane. He believes in potential, he backs entrepreneurs any which way he can and he truly believes that you can make it, if you keep looking for a way up, if you keep your nose to the grindstone.

After days of brainstorming and writing all kinds of words that appeal to me on paper, I finally woke up one day with the word #thrive.

This connects everything for me. It’s what I aim for in any interaction, it’s what I aim for in my work with clients, in my personal life, it’s a central theme in all the movies I like, I am driven to thrive even in games I play, I want to see my students thrive, I want my friends to thrive, hell, I want to see Slovakia thrive, I want to see humankind thrive, I want to see love thrive, I want to see people go for what they really want in life and get it. It’s why I have a success fetish, it’s why I built entire cities as a child, it’s why I was only interested in strategic video games where the point was to develop a thriving world almost from scratch.

It even explains why I’m so fascinated with underdog nations like the Confederacy, Palestine, Slovakia, etc. Although they face(d) enormous challenges, something obsessive in me flips on and I automatically look for ways how they could thrive against all odds.

The same goes for my fascination with authors, actors and musicians that were at first totally rejected by the mainstream but went on to become worldwide famous.

I like everything that blossoms despite dire circumstances.

This has roots in my childhood and chances are that your one word will be related to things that have had a big impact on your ever since you can remember.

So far I’ve noticed that people who go and look for their one word, think about it for a couple of days, don’t find one that really does it for them, but then all of a sudden they wake up with their word.

For me it’s #thrive, from all the words that flashed through my mind, this one fills me with the most energy. Ever since I have found it I have a much clearer vision of where I want to go, what I want to develop, what makes me come alive.

What’s your one word?

This post is dedicated to Tim Van Zwieteren, a good friend of mine in Vietnam, who I know will love this book and will go off on a quest to find his one word immediately after reading this post.

For more on Evan, visit