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The Tinkered Mind
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July 24th, 2018
Very often we trap ourselves by stating things as conclusions.
“I’m not good at Math.”
“I can’t meditate.”
“I’m not motivated.”
While these sorts of statements may be accurate in the moment while we say them or think them, such language fails to recognize changes that may come in the future. Further, if we let this sort of conclusive language stand as it is, there’s the risk that we will believe it as it is.
These statements might accurately depict the moment and the past, but they also sound like facts about ourselves - facts that we can continue to believe into the future.
These conclusive statements do not encourage or even allow our thinking to expand beyond them and wonder what possibilities the future might hold. This language works like a box that we build around ourselves. We are then working in the mode of categories instead of progress. We begin to always identify as a person who is not good at math, or someone who is never motivated or someone who cannot meditate and so on and so forth.
The most insidious aspect of these kinds of statements is that they are often true when we say them.
As ridiculous as it might sound there might even be something to be said about wanting such statements to remain true because to have them change makes our statements untruthful.
What a nightmare rabbit hole of dangerous loops this simple human tendency creates.
How do we get out of this mess?
By adding one single little word to such statements.
This is the power of the word YET.
Let’s revisit the same sample statements with the addition of this word.
“I’m not good at math… yet.”
“I can’t meditate… yet.”
“I’m not motivated… yet.”
Adding this sweet little word to the ends of these statements blows them right open. These conclusive statements remain truthful in the same way they were before, but now they have the new dimension of future possibilities. The addition of the word yet even flips the certainty about their accuracy. Yet implies that it will not always be the case. Yet forces a person to confront the fact that change is possible, and this sort of language accurately expects that change will happen. But the change is in the direction that we want.
If these conclusive statements without the word yet act like a boxy category that we can get stuck in, the word YET is like a window in that box, a door, or even a whole side ripped off. YET frees us to explore the possibilities of who we might become.
So the next time you find yourself rattling off a fact about yourself. . .
add the word YET
and see what happens.