Don’t tell me you can’t!

I felt compelled to write this post after receiving an email from a couple. The email came ten months after the couple’s wedding. The email stated, “I finally had the time to choose the photographs for our wedding album.” Seems like a moot point to me other than you have already paid for your photo books.

The following quote was given to me many years ago in 1989 by a then Executive Director when he heard me saying, “I can’t…” The same quote now sits framed on my desk as a stark reminder that my parents weren’t lying time when I was growing up; I can accomplish whatever I choose to accomplish.

Did is a word of achievement.
Won’t is a word of retreat.
Might is a word of bereavement.
Can’t is a word of defeat.
Ought is a word of duty.
Try is a word of each hour.
Will is a word of beauty.
Can is a word of power.
-Gerald Hargraves

Can’t is a word of weakness.

Can’t is a word we use to define the lack of time we find ourselves having during our busy day. It is an excuse, a justification, a rationalization. We say these words with an angry overtone “You just don’t understand how busy I am. I can’t do it.” We feel justified making these statements. We feel we now have control over some area of our lives. In a way we do albeit a superficial sense of control.

Instead, our lives would be much easier and we would make the time we say we do not have if we would replace “can’t” with “I choose not to.” A phrase we are afraid to use because we are fearful  others will judge us or God forbid “make us feel guilty.” This is another over used phrase; one which I’ll tackle in another post.  This, we will find out in that post is something which is simply not positive!

How nice the world would be if we would simply own our behavior and be responsible for ourselves instead of attempting to evade responsibility. Try it some time when a family member or friend asks you if you can spare the time to help them with something. If you don’t want to engage in the activity, let the other person know by saying, “I’m not available at that time” or “Thanks for the invitation but I have other plans.” I guarantee you will walk away from the conversation feeling much better about yourself.

Stop allowing others to control your fate. Stop allowing others to make you feel some way you choose not to feel.


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