Psychologists have known for a long time that what we think changes how we feel. In turn how we feel influences what we do. Some people get bogged down by the obstacles in their way. Their thoughts about situations are negative and block the path forward. So what does all of this have to do with those two words mentioned in the title of this article?
The thing is that some people look at situations and let 'BUT' get in the way:
- "I want to go to university 'BUT' it's such a lot of work"
- "I always wanted to make more friends 'BUT' I might say something silly"
- "I need to go to the gym 'BUT' I am tired"
- "I like going outside 'BUT' it's cold today"
'BUT' blocks our path. It tells us we can't do things because there is a problem. How are successful people different? They think differently. They let 'AND' tackle the problem head on:
- "I want to go to university 'AND' it's such a lot of work"
- "I always wanted to make more friends 'AND' I might say something silly"
- "I need to go to the gym 'AND' I am tired"
- "I like going outside 'AND' it's cold today"
By simply changing the 'BUT' to an 'AND' successful people accept the obstacle in their path. They know that it will be difficult and that they can take on the problem to find a solution. Achievement and attainment does not mean that you will not be faced with problems on the road to success. On the contrary, it means that you are aware of the path ahead of you and that the goal is worth the burden.
We cannot avoid problems. We can't expect everything to be easy. We need to consider situations with balanced and helpful thinking styles. Motivation is not something that you wake up with one day. It is a journey that begins with a single step. Like the Lion in the 'Wizard of Oz' he was not given courage by the wizard. It was something he proved to himself he had by completing the journey.
Remember these two words (AND/BUT). Take life head on. Find solutions to problems. Build your skills and mobilise your resources. You can achieve 'AND' it will be difficult.
Child Psychologist Daniel Wendt is the Principal Clinical Psychologist of Oracle Psychology in Newcastle, NSW.