Everyone’s morning routine has a few consistent elements no matter the day, that is what makes it a routine. Breakfast may change, the order may fluctuate, but there are those tasks that always happen. Part of my routine is filtering through my emails, discarding ones I do not need or have no interest in reading. Along with the ridiculous amount of promotional emails I receive, I subscribe to several publisher newsletters including theSkimm, HubSpot Marketing, and Fast Company. A few days ago one of the headlines in Fast Company read ” 5 Words and Phrases That Can Transform Your Work Life.” The argument of the article is that by changing a few common phrases in our lives we can change our outlook and behavior, and thus our level of success. Sounds an awful lot like the inspiration clichés of “think it, do it” or “success begins between your ears.” While we tend to tune out cliches, the article’s main point is true none the less and the changes Professor Roth recommends are all changes that I agree should be made to our daily vocabulary.
The two swaps that jumped out to me were swapping “can’t” for “won’t” and “have to” with “want to.” As as general rule, I agree with the advice that the word “can’t” is one that should be limited in its use. The swap for “won’t” is fitting as it speaks volumes about the reality of many situations. “I can’t” do something is often an excuse foe not wanting to do something. “I can’t workout because I don’t have time,””I can’t go back to school.” How many of these are situations where we are fully capable but unwilling to exert the extra effort required to see something through? “I won’t trade TV time for the gym.” “I won’t commit the time and money to get my Masters.” While there is nothing inherently wrong with deciding not to pursue school or (sigh) workout, blaming that decision on an inability to do so is letting yourself off a little too easy. As for “have to” and “want to,” this swap focuses on trading the negative connotation of “have to” for a positive. If you approach something with apprehension or distaste, it will undoubtedly affect your experience and likely your success in seeing the task through. I don’t necessarily want to do my accounting homework, but I do want to complete my MBA and that homework is part of doing so. Looking at it another way, I want to get my accounting homework done so that I can enjoy my weekend. These swaps in language play a large role in changing a mindset, which is known to be connected to success rates.
It is easy to say that changing your mindset will help you achieve. Like many things in life, it is easier than said than done. There will always be days when you “have to” get things done and days where you would rather collapse on the couch than continue to work. Life as a grad student brings many of those moments and they can seem overwhelming or down right crushing. These are the moments where your mental strength and the decision to maintain a positive mindset will make all of the difference. Sometimes the first step is changing your daily language to reflect that mindset.
Are there any language swaps you make to change or maintain a positive mindset?
If you are interested in reading the original Fast Company article, follow the link —>http://bit.ly/1pp8SAc