There is a difference between thinking you can do something and making a decision to do it.
Oprah Winfrey was not the first to cite the power that our thoughts have on us when she stated that ‘“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude,” and she will not be the last to make this observation.
It is quite widely accepted that life is what you make it and every situation you find yourself in can be looked at through many different lenses. We all try hard to be happy and positive and are generally pretty good at it. We know what we like and want; we are ok.
That said, it can be rather surprising, sometimes shocking, when we meet people who are more positive or objectively successful than ourselves. They force us to question our decisions and second-guess the reasons as to why they are more visibly victorious at life than we are. Fortunately, there are ways that we can become the best possible versions of ourselves and teach these skills to our children to help them succeed.
This all starts with a little conviction, a little control and a decision to change the way we approach everything.
The difference between ‘I can’ and ‘I will’ may seem trivial to some, and admittedly it is a less distinct chasm than that between ‘I can’ and ‘I can’t,’ but between these parallel mental lines there hides a secret that many may never uncover, nor truly capitalize upon.
‘I can’ is a phrase that defines the speakers understanding that they have the ability to achieve the predetermined task. And, although the ability is identified, there is still space for failure. ‘I can’ can be very easily followed by ‘I could have.’ The phrase holds doubt.
‘I will’ allows less space for error. The speaker not only understands that they can achieve the task that is set out before them but also promises to complete it. There is space for ‘I would have,’ and therein an opportunity for transgression; the mental understanding of the phrase is very different to ‘I can.’ ‘I will’ has the self-assuredness and confidence to gamble, as all of life’s choices can never be fully promised, that the user will succeed as opposed to suggesting that they could fail.
Think of your personal ambition. Can you get a promotion in your current role or will you? The difference between your answer will define whether you will accomplish the next step from conviction or merely luck. Those who fail, say ‘I can’t’ or ‘I can,’ while those who succeeded will always say, ‘I will.’
I used to struggle with my weight. I tried to diet, I exercised, I juiced and I purged yet I didn’t lose the weight I wanted to. It was not until I knew I would that I did. Your mind is your most powerful ally and, as a human, you will spend your entire life learning from it, while simultaneously never properly understanding it. You can get your brain on your side or you can struggle to live disregarding it. One fact remains, using ‘I will’ instead of ‘I can’ will allow the brain to uncompromisingly strive with you to achieve everything you desire.
This understanding is something that is valuable for kids to know as well.
• Dads can teach their children that uncontrollable circumstances will define all that they do.
• Good dads teach their kids that they ‘can’ be whatever they want to be.
• Great dads, however, tell the next generation, without a doubt, that they ‘will’ be whatever they want to be.
It is with this in mind that we analyze our approach to progression, success and control in a bid to understand how our minds may be sabotaging us, and those who look to us for guidance, by limiting our ability to achieve.