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Pat Ruppel at Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom is one of my favorite bloggers.  Recently, she wrote Defining Words, discussing a theory about language, i.e., that one, single word can be used to describe a city, the dominant mindset of its citizens or . . . an individual.

I have many writing tools to which I turn regularly, including, of course, the dictionary and thesaurus, as well as many books by an eclectic group of authors about the techniques and magic of writing.

But imagine for a moment that all of the tools upon which you rely are not available.  Further, pretend that you have been asked to write an autobiography.  And you must do so using just one word.  Just one.  One.

Consider your life right now.  What is the one word that describes how you respond to the world around you, what dominates your thoughts and dreams, how you envision yourself (which may be very different from how other people might describe you)?  Has that one descriptive word changed over the years?  Do you think it might change in the future?

I spent some time thinking about those questions and concluded that the word I would use has not changed over the course of many years and I do not believe it will change.

The word I would use is: Driven.

I look forward to reading your one-word responses! However, if you want to elaborate on your own site, leave a link so that we can all visit and read your explanation!


  1. Anxious

    In all meanings of the word.

    Suzanne’s most recent blog post..10 ways to lose money online

  2. Paunchiness

    Nice post and an even nicer theme.

    My word is always strategery

  3. I like “driven,” it describes me pretty well.

    For most of my life, I would have used hard-worker (Is that cheating and using two words?) But recently I’m coming to terms with the realization that hard work doesn’t mean success. It’s what you accomplish that counts.

    In fact hard work is a working class value. It doesn’t serve entrepreneurs well because we have to learn how to accomplish tasks with less work.


    Linda P. Morton

  4. Home Burglar Alarm

    I like your one-word response. “Driven” as for me driven word is suitable in many ways in my own life like:
    I’m driven by values
    I’m driven by my own dreams
    Finally I’m driven to be myself.

  5. One word, hmm…


    It has changed over the past few years, as currently I am focused on one primary endeavor that is very important to me. It’s an immense goal, though, if I am successful to the fullest extent, the world will change, ha ha.

  6. Great.

    Yes, even I got surprised by the word, but that word came to me before any thought. 😆 I don’t know whether it was me or my girlfriend I had in my mind when that word came to me. Nevertheless, I don’t believe my mind. 😆

  7. Janie – sorry this response is quite late. I thank you for your mention of my last post in this article. It’s true that one word can sum up the energy not only of what’s going on in our lives right now but our countries and communities around the world. It can be an opportunity to truly see the reflection of what is going on within us and be courageous enough to choose to change and make the shift.


    Pat R´s most recent post: Defining Words

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