You are capable of just about anything you can think of.
I know that seems improbable. But it’s still the truth.
Henry Ford famously said,
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
The truth of that statement tends to get lost on people.
If you think you can’t do something — you’re right.
If you think you can do something — you’re right.
That may seem uber-simplistic. But it IS that simple.
Human beings have a madness for over-complicating things. This is evident both with the big-picture and on a personal level.
Simple: Wear a mask to lessen the output of germs when you breathe to lessen the spread of COVID-19 (among other things).
Complicated: Mask-wearing is a form of tyranny. I read somewhere online how masks make you breathe in too much CO2. I read somewhere that masks are pointless and don’t do much of anything for anyone.
These two statements coexist right now. The simple statement is one of fact. The complicated statement is not. Yet rather than believe the simple statement — people cling to the much more complicated one.
Why? Because over the years, skepticism has devolved into cynicism, which has become embedded in the collective consciousness. With the rise of instantaneous communications, fact, and counterfact interact so closely that telling one from the other is exhausting.
Too many unreliable narrators are loud and convincing — despite having no basis in reality.
The skepticism and cynicism of the collective consciousness make the pursuit of personal goals a lot more complicated than it needs to be.
Focusing outwards and inwards
Too many people focus outwards. You turn to this resource, look to that demagogue, seek another’s idea, and means to get from where you are to where you prefer to be.
What’s more, many of these outward matters are quick fixes. Instant gratification. Take the pill, drink the shake, listen to the self-help recording.
That’s not to say there isn’t SOME value in all of these. But they do neglect the true starting point of any change.
Everything you desire begins within. If you want to be healthier, smarter, faster, or what-have-you — it starts within. The idea and goal evolved inside YOUR head.
The resolve to make a change is internal.
Every smoker I know who has quit for good quit cold turkey. No drug or nicotine gum made them quit. Everyone I know who has turned to a prescription, vaping, or nicotine gum has failed at quitting.
Why? Because they turned outside for something that must come from within. A decision. You choose to quit smoking. End of story.
I need to take off some weight. I know there are diet programs and pills available to help me with this. However, unless I make very specific choices to change my diet and exercise habits — nothing will happen.
Can or can’t is on me. The choice is mine. And the place where I can find any answer is within.
While numerous resources exist outside of myself to help me — the action must come from within. Reliance on the external is uncertain. That’s because you have ZERO control over external matters.
Can or can’t is in your control
To be fair, there are things some people are incapable of doing. For example, I’d love to be able to do a standing backflip. That’s not happening.
If I REALLY wanted to, however, there is training I could undergo to make that possible — but it takes focus, intent, and deep desire.
This is true of everything in life. But for a lot of people, they don’t entirely know what they desire. They have a vague idea of what they want — but no clarity.
That’s why it’s easy to overcomplicate simple matters. Because modern society and the collective consciousness tells you “can’t” way more often than “can.”
The negative gets way more attention than the positive. This can’t be done. That can’t be right. Nobody can do that. You can’t expect it to be so easy. These are too frequently responses to thoughts, ideas, and goals individuals express.
Often this comes from someone “looking out for you,” “in your best interest,” or intent on “keeping it real.” It can’t be done as far as I can see so don’t try and fail.
Of course, if you don’t attempt something — you’re guaranteed failure. If I never publish a single work I write — then I definitely will never become a best-selling author.
The choice tends to be much simpler than we make it. But because society has become more and more skeptical and cynical, the analysis goes almost too far. You look at the idea, turn it over a few times, look at it again, see the good AND the bad, analyze all of that — over and over — and then act.
You can or can’t. That decision and choice belong to you.
Positivity versus negativity
Can is a positive statement. Can’t is negative.
True, can or can’t are sometimes interchangeable, depending on how you use them. You can see no possible way to do something is negative. You can’t not make this choice is positive. But that’s just language being its overcomplicated self.
The concepts are simple. Can is a statement of possibility and potential. Can’t is a statement of impossibility and lack.
This is an internal matter. What you believe — can or can’t — is. All the power to choose what that means lies inside of you.
Due to overcomplicating matters — plus skepticism and cynicism — the relative ease of choosing can or can’t becomes overwrought. Just because you think you can do something doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton of evidence that you can’t. But you have a choice as to how you look at and approach it.
Finally, there is an important matter to not be ignored. Sometimes you can’t do something. That’s not negative — it’s just a matter of reality.
I can’t be an astronaut. That’s because I have taken no paths in life that would get me there. Also, I don’t want to be an astronaut.
You can do virtually anything you set your mind to. But be mindful. If you have tried over and over and over again — with the same result or lack therein — reconsider. Not that you are unable to do what you’re trying. But maybe you need to take a different approach. Or maybe figure out if you truly desire what you are pursuing.
It’s easy to convince yourself you desire something you don’t. What you can and can’t do get tied into that. So, it’s not that you can’t change — maybe, in truth, you don’t want to.
Choosing can or can’t isn’t hard
It does require mindfulness of your beliefs, thoughts, feelings, actions, and intent.
Knowing that you have a choice — and can decide what you do and do not desire — you can also see that can or can’t are based within you. When you recognize this truth, you’ll make clearer choices and decisions for where you desire your life to go — and that ultimately empowers you.
When you feel empowered, your mindfulness increases, you become more aware overall, and that can spread to people around you. This can create a feedback loop of awareness and positivity.
You can build more positive feelings and discover further reasons to feel positivity and gratitude. That can be the impetus to improve numerous aspects of your life for the better, help overcome the overwhelming negativity of the current situation, and generate yet more positivity and gratitude.
An attitude of gratitude is an attitude of immense positivity. That positivity can generate even more good energies — and that, like you, is always worthwhile.
Thank you for reading! I am MJ Blehart. I write about mindfulness, conscious reality creation, positivity, and similar life lessons.
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Originally published at https://titaniumdon.com on September 28, 2020.