What is Onlyness and How is it Relevant to the HVAC Field?

January 13, 2022
Greg Crumpton

Onlyness is not a word in the dictionary, but it holds extensive meaning. Nilofer Merchant, author of The Power of Onlyness and a multitude of other books, joined Hosts Greg Crumpton and Tyler Kern to describe what onlyness is and how it relates to hands-on professions like HVAC.

Merchant defined onlyness: “It is a function of history and experience, so your past, but it is also about that which you can envision so I call it hopes and visions.” She added, “On that spot, only you stand is how you add value to the world.” Onlyness is how you figure out the people you belong to. It is not relative to some other group, and it doesn’t make one “less than” in a situation. “Regardless of power, regardless of status, regardless of educational level, regardless of whatever, you have something to add that is so distinct to give,” said Merchant.

Same people don’t believe this because they’ve been told they aren’t smart or good enough. This is often seen in trade industries. Merchant explained, “The reason I think it applies to the folks in the HVAC world is because every single person has something of value to offer and so when they come into a situation at work, it’s thinking about what is that that’s so true to them?”

Working with one’s hands is a gift, and parents should realize this in their children and focus on that work’s benefits. Merchant says one must reflect upon the thing original to them that brings joy and expression to believe in their onlyness. We can help others by recognizing their own gifts instead of power and status.

To learn more about Merchant’s books and hear her talks, visit nilofermerchant.com. You can also visit gregcrumpton.com and subscribe to the Straight Outta Crumpton podcast.

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