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Do We Really Need the Word "But"?

Do We Really Need the Word "But"?

But is an interesting word, it’s defined as a reason someone gives for not doing or agreeing with something.

It is probably the most overused word in the English language and also the word that causes the most problems with regards to procrastination.

From “Oh, I was going to do it but…” to “But it…” stems all our excuses for indecision or inactivity.

What do we fear so much that we have to presuppose a failure and wrap that possibility up with a “but”?

And here is the more interesting question, are we committing to that failure by raising that as a possibility? What if we never actually said the ‘but’? What if we didn’t allow into our consciousness the possibility of failures, could that prevent them from occurring?

Now I know that seems naïve, but when we were children, we didn’t see failures as something bad, it was simply just a lesson to learn along the way. We learned to walk by taking a few steps then falling, then we just picked ourselves up and tried again, and again, until after those few false starts and those initial faltering steps we were indeed able to walk, and then run.

As children, it never occurred to us to even think in terms of “I’m going to walk, but maybe I won’t.” We just kept on trying and trying until we succeeded, and that is the difference between the entrepreneurs and everyone else.

Where everyone else acknowledges the “but”, we don’t breathe as much life into that uncertainty. We don’t have time for buts, we are far too busy getting the job done to worry about whether our independent vision might not work.

A funny phrase I heard once: “If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas.” It’s a great throwaway statement that shows how often we use those two particular words.

Banish them from your life and your outlook, you have businesses to build and successes to achieve, there is no time for an ‘if’ or a ‘but’!


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