That’s Not a Word


Guest Writer Paula Sangeleer, Middays on Cool 101.3

Learning the English language is no easy feat. I remember as a small child trying to grasp new words and whining as children do, “I can’t”. My mother would always tell me can’t is not a word, so you shouldn’t ever say it, just replace it with CAN. She said you CAN do anything, you just have to figure it out. Limitations are only in your mind, so choose not to have them. Pretty deep stuff, but I went with it. Eventually I made it to actual English classes and was eager to let her know she was wrong when we learned contractions. I said can’t is too a word, it’s in fact a contraction, meaning cannot. She said, OK, just use it as in “I can’t be mean”, “I can’t be unkind”, “I can’t forget my manners”. Mom was pretty good with English, she also said HATE was a bad word not to be used, so I learned loathe pretty quickly and used that one to express extreme dislike. All other bad words were fair game in our house and they tell me my first word was indeed “damn-it”. No doubt an expression of the perception of not being able to do something, this was well before my lesson on can’t.

Have you ever heard Henry Ford’s expression ““Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” My mother must have learned this early on in order to pass it on to me. I have no children, but I’m certain that if I did, I would teach them the same. Thousands of choices each and every day. Each one leads us to the next. Thrown in some “cant’s” and your doomed. Try replacing your can’t with a can and them come up with a plan, if it’s something you decide to do. Untie your “not’s” and see what happens. Can Not, Will Not, Do Not- how about Can, Will, and Do? See my previous article called “You Can Have Your Own Show”. It’s showtime baby, what do you want to do? Where can you replace a CAN’T with a CAN? If you try this experiment, let me know how it works out. Deathbed regrets are often about chances not taken, try to be FEARLESS, you might surprise yourself or even inspire others to to the same.

Think about it, we make To-Do Lists, they aren’t Don’t Lists or Can’t lists. Put some big stuff on your list, then break it down into smaller steps, check them off as you go. I’ll bet you get farther than you ever dreamed once you delete CAN’T from the place deep inside you that may have been playing this back to you on a loop. Simply hit that imaginary delete button and lean forward. Let me know how it goes too, I’d love to hear your story. These are YOUR decisions to make, your story to live. Another philosophy I live by is “You can’t change what people do, you can change how you react”, wait a minute, did I just say can’t?

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