Managing your BUT’s and AND’s
I must confess, this technique is not an original idea that I fathomed over a period of in-depth meditation – it was more of an ah-ha moment that struck me when I was listening to Seth Godin’s Akimbo podcast.
He made a passing comment that you should be careful about structuring internal dialogue, especially the use of “BUT’s” and “AND’s.”
For example, “I would love to go to Jiu-Jitsu today, BUT I’ve got some errands to run.”
Here, I tell myself that I am not going to Jiu-Jitsu today because I have something else to do.
But what if you kicked the BUT, and replaced it with an AND.
“I would love to go to Jiu-Jitsu today, AND I’ve got some errands to run.”
Now I’m going to Jiu-Jitsu and I’m going to run my errands!
Simple techniques are my favourite, and this is a great example!
BUT’s can be great after AND’s
Some extremely common examples of where you can use this technique include writer’s block, demotivation or just plain laziness…
- “I feel like writing now BUT I just don’t have the inspiration.”
- “I would go for a run BUT it’s raining outside.”
- “I was going to prepare my food for this week BUT I’m tired.”
In some of these cases, just swapping the BUT with an AND is not good enough, you must add another BUT after the AND…
- “I feel like writing now AND I just don’t have the inspiration BUT if I continue to write, something good will transpire!”
- “I would go for a run AND it’s raining outside BUT if I run in this weather, I will be more comfortable in other extreme conditions!”
- “I was going to prepare my food for this week AND I’m tired BUT if I don’t, I will regret it when I step on those scales!”
Structuring your internal dialogue
Granted, this isn’t going to work perfectly (or grammatically) in every situation but it’s a good prompt to make you aware of your internal dialogue.
If you find yourself making excuses, turn the BUT into an AND!
I’m Shaun, I was going to write today, and I have lots to do, but I know if I continue to write, my clarity of thought, communication and vocabulary will improve!
I hope you found this useful!
If you have any other techniques like this that would benefit our community, post it in the comments box below!