Our aspirations are our possibilities. Robert Browning
Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you right. Henry Ford
Grammatically there is a small difference between can and can’t. Philosophically, it is the difference between success and failure.
Grammatically, “can’t” is a contraction for cannot. It deserves special recognition as a very destructive self-imposed and self-limiting handicapping on ones abilities. It has extreme negative and debilitating effects on the hearts and minds of all of us. It should be banned as an acceptable thought process.
“Can’t” is a dangerous concept. It should not be underestimated for its destructive powers. Its use in our daily lives is done without regard to the harm and waste it does to us individually and as to the well-being of the world in general. Lawmakers should consider passing legislation banning its thinking or speaking. If one does not already exist, there should be an organization established for eliminating the concept of can’t altogether. If the damages it causes could be measured in dollars, it would dwarf the size of the national debt.
When “can’t” is used; it mostly slams the door to accomplishment. It works something like this: someone is considering a worthy challenge, such as going to school at night to get a degree. The task is a significant undertaking, not easily done, but has been successfully done by many others. Destructive self-talk (inner dialogue) or through talking with others; “I can’t do it, it is unrealistic, it can’t be done, or how foolish I am;” rears its ugly head. Powerful negative thoughts empower seeds of self-doubt. “I can” is “choked out” and dies even though getting this degree is very doable. Reasons why “I can” get replaced by “I can’t”. Soon the idea is abandoned and dies on the vine. This person now becomes less likely to believe in themselves in the future.
This process is repeated countless times daily basis by millions. Everyone has fallen prey to the “awesome and destructive” effects of “can’t”. Its use along with “no’ have been used by parents for generations to keep their children from harm and undesirable activities. However, there is no measuring the negative effects it has had on our dreams of “possibility thinking”. We should be programmed to believe in “can” instead of “can’t”.
Our subconscious is gullible and takes its inputs (what it is told) literally. When it hears “can’t”, it believes it. It does not have enough common sense to know any better. We should be conscious of “cant’s” killing power. It is like carrying a loaded and lethal weapon. Once fired, we often stop believing in “I can”.
Challenge: Are you conscious of the power of “can’t” in your life? Do you use it with yourself, your family, friends, or co-workers? Be aware of its awesome destructive power. Do not let it prevent you or others from worthy challenges. To the contrary, be conscious of encouraging and empowering yourself and others to the possibilities of “can”. Always handle “cant” with great caution. Always remember “can’t never could”!
Wisdom: The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes. William James.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid. Psalm 27:1
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
The Bible encourages us to do and to accomplish things in life. The world tells us all the reasons why we can’t get things done. If we listen to worldly ways we will fall very short of living up to our God-given potential. “Can’t” is a mentally handicapping concept that plagues this world. We are bombarded with it from early childhood to the day we die. If we will listen to God and follow him, we will believe in the power of “can”.
Prayer: Help me to not only be able to encourage and empower myself, but others as well.