Lessons for Living
What is it that you
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for Living. Common sense information to make life go better.
Todays lesson is on, "Words to avoid." Some words can create problems for you, especially, when you use them without thinking about their true meaning. The way we think and the words we use determine our reactions to life. Life acts and then we react, but in between we think. So, watch out for what you think. You may be creating more trouble than you need.
For example take the word "cant." Have you ever said to yourself, "I cant " As in, "I cant do it." What is it that you cant do? Right now think of something you "cant" do. People often say something like, "I cant lose weight, stop smoking, forgive, or play the piano.
None of this is true.
What did you think of? What is it that you cant do? Most likely what you thought of isnt true either.
You see "cant" means cannot be done. If it cant be done then it is impossible. So, you cant fly like a bird, walk through walls, or run a two minute mile. All of these statements are true.
Most often when we say we cant do something we are using the wrong word.
"Cant" is not the right word. The right word is "wont." Not "I cant" but "I wont." Wont means will not. It means, "I choose not to."
If we change our words then our statements to ourselves sound different. It is, "I wont lose weight, stop smoking, forgive, or I wont play the piano." All of these are options are actually possible, we just choose not to do them
Most of us do not like this change in words because it confronts us with our responsibility for not acting. After all, if you say you "cant" do it then you let your self off the hook of responsibility. When you say you cant, you give yourself permission not to try.
You get to give up before you start.You are allowing yourself to be stuck with a problem of your own choosing.
Learn to take responsibility for your choices. Intentionally make a choice. It is all right to decide not to do something. Just take responsibility for your decision.
You may choose not to lose weight, stop smoking, or forgive. Thats okay. Make the choice not to, but dont convince yourself it is impossible to do. Dont give yourself the easy way out.
Taking responsibility for your thoughts and actions puts you in control of yourself, rather than having you feel controlled by habits, emotions, and circumstances.
So, listen out for the word "cant." When you hear yourself saying it, challenge it. Call time-out. Try out the word "wont" and see if it fits better. If you dont like it when you say it, then it is probably the right word. It challenges you to make a conscious choice and to exercise responsibility. Pay attention to the way you think. You can think yourself into more trouble than you need. Learn to change your thinking and life will go better.
©1999 Daniel H. Johnston. All Rights Reserved.