Many years ago, during a previous recession, I wanted to introduce some positiveness into my day. (Is positiveness even a word, you ask? Well,… it is now!)
In order to be effective, I thought, it needed to be something that happened all the time, and it had to be subtle enough to go unnoticed by others, to avoid people asking me, “Hey, what’s going on with you?”
I woke up one morning with this resolution: I would stop using the word “not” and its cousin “n’t”.
I questioned: if I could change my speech and construct my sentences in such a way as to eliminate the use of these two words, would I start to think, feel, perceive, and communicate positively? And could it really be this easy - to just stop saying or writing two words and expect my outlook on life to change?
To make this transition I found that I had to say exactly what I meant. Instead of telling my children “do not cross the street,” I would tell them “stay on the sidewalk.” When my girlfriends wanted to see the movie Halloween, rather than say, “I don’t like that type of movie,” I would say, “I prefer comedies rather than slasher movies.”
Of course, there were - and still are - times when I open my mouth and my brain whispers “No n’t !” ….and then I stammer about with a string of “aaaaahhhh’s” while that same brain searches to form my thought without uttering an “n’t” word.
It isn’t easy to not use these words…aaaaahh -- mental correction -- it’s a challenge to avoid using these words… but it’s well worth the effort !
photo by sboneham