It is a gratitude Saturday around here because I got a surprise visit from my favorite baby brother of all time! My little tiny eensy teensy baby brother is amazing. And a visit from him is gold. And he doesn’t even mind that I still pretend he’s only 5 years old.
When I was a teen and he was a tyke, we would spend every minute together after my school day. I would pick him up at his little people school and we would drive all around town, visiting my parents at their offices and revisiting my high school where I would check up on the status of high-level high school affairs.
We were a team.
Words are really helpful, in case you hadn’t noticed.
Sometimes it helps to add a word or two. And sometimes it helps to take one or two words away.
For instance, the trash will probably get taken out more better if you say “Can you please take out trash” instead of “Can you please take out the trash sometime in this century?”
And saying “Thank you” is a lot more effective when you leave out the “NOT!” at the end.
And some words are better off being replaced.
For example, compare these two sentences:
“I should put the clothes in the dryer.”
“I will put the clothes in the dryer at the commercial.”
It’s easy to see why the word “should” doesn’t work. “Should” isn’t part of a plan or strategy. It’s really just part of a campaign to make yourself feel like you’re failing.
I shouldn’t use the word failing, now should I?
Heh heh heh. Get it?
I try not to use the word should. I try to stick with saying whether I will or I won’t. It’s more honest. And then I don’t get stuck with negative baggage. It’s really negatory to think through the analysis of “I WOULD if I were just stronger, better, faster and more disciplined.”
That’s not a helpful analysis.
As for adding words, there is no better word to add to your sentences than “now” – or it’s cousin phrase “at this time.”
Consider these sentences:
“I can’t do math.”
“I can’t do math at this time.”
People who say “I can’t do math” are basically admitting that they checked out of math in the third grade and haven’t considered trying it again since then. If you’re that person, trying saying to yourself “I can’t math at this time.”
Now seriously, doesn’t that sound ridiculous?
What in the world could possibly keep you from doing math at this time? You’re an adult. You can figure it out.
It’s not rocket science, unless it’s rocket science math.
But if it’s regular math, like figuring out a tip or doubling a recipe, you can do it!
Let’s try another one:
“I can’t help myself.”
That’s a good one.
“I must eat an entire family size box of chocolates. I cannot help myself.”
Really? At this time? You can’t help yourself at this time?
I doubt that’s true.
I bet you really could help yourself if you wanted to help yourself.
Maybe you just don’t want to help yourself. In which case, say the following:
“I cannot help myself because I do not want to help myself.”
But it is what is.
At this time.
The thing about talking to yourself is that most of us do it.
Some of us do it more regularly than others. And we shall remain nameless.
But here’s what I want to know:
Do you talk to yourself when you most need it? And do you know what to say?
The bad news about negative habitual thinking is that it’s negative.
The good news about negative habitual thinking is that it’s habitual.