Never give up.
Don’t take the easy way out.
The right thing to do is the right thing to do.
Some people never learn these three truths or, if they do...they learn the shadow form of them; the seductive version that adds “unless...” to them and gives people that may mean well an easy out.
I feel I was very lucky, because I learned the thee things above from a singular individual - an individual that added what I believe is a key ingredient to them. This ingredient is one that I hope to pass on to my own kids one day because I believe it is a life-changing message and one that can fuel a child’s creativity, resolve, and integrity.
When I was growing up (a phrase that ages me by about 30 years...but, if it helps, imagine me waiving my cane above my head as I yell at the kids who are on my lawn) we didn’t have things like participation trophies. We were allowed to fail, to fall down and in doing so - and this is the most important part - we learned.
Failure is essential in life. In fact, I would argue that if you learn something from whatever you “failed” at you didn’t fail at all. You grew and growth, in my book, is called success.
And that same success is built upon that ingredient that held those three phrases together as I grew up in Phoenix, moved to Erie, graduated to Chicago, and retuned to Erie.
Just what was that secret ingredient in the special sauce I was being fed in my formative years?
It was a single word.
...okay, it was a contraction “technically.”
It was: “Can’t.”
Or, rather, that was the one thing I was never allowed to say. Ever. When faced with a challenge, a dream, or a seemingly impossible goal I was FORBIDDEN to ever say the word “can’t.”
And here I am, about to enter a next decade, still learning that lesson and using it to grow.
And who taught me this sage advice?
The man I am lucky enough to call my father.
How often in life are we faced with challenges, opportunities, and choices where we are tempted to say, “I can’t? Perhaps it’s a new job opportunity. It could be a guy or gal sitting on the other side of the bar. And for others still it could be the chance to learn a new skill - skiing, swimming, etc. So often, we embrace “can’t”?
Believing “you can’t” is a way of tapping out of a better future.
So, let’s tap back in! The next time you feel an “I can’t” about to slip out of your mouth: Stop.
Take a moment, breathe and consider this: “Will saying, ‘I can’t’ in this moment lead me to the person I want to be or the future I want to have?” If the answer is, “No.” - Shut up! Bit your tongue and make a new, better choice.
You might just find yourself one step closer to your best destiny.
Tap back in.