’Stop wishing, start doing. Take command of your life!’’ This is the fundamental motto of the book The Achievement Habit by Bernard Roth, a profound writer and Stanford University professor. According to the author, we can achieve our goals just by eliminating two simple words from our vocabulary.
1. Replace the word ’’but’’ with ’’and’’
What if you said the phrase, ’’I want to go to the cinema, and I have a lot of work to do’’ instead of, ’’I want to go to the cinema, but I have a lot of work to do?’’
Professor Roth writes, ’’when you use the word ’’but,’’ you create a conflict between actions, even if there is no conflict at all. Saying the word ’’and,’’ however, unknowingly makes your brain comprehend both parts of the sentence.’’
In linguistics, such constructions are called compound sentences with adversative and copulative relations between coordinate clauses. In the first case, the conjunctions ’’but,’’ ’’although,’’ and ’’however’’ are used to express opposition, rendering one clause in conflict with the other.
The conjunction ’’and,’’ on the contrary, has a unifying, more positive function. In this case, neither clause contradicts the other, they are equal.
Now that you realize that you do this, it’s time to change your habits. It’s better to say ’’I’d like to buy new furniture, and beforehand I need to make repairs,’’ rather than, ’’I’d like to buy new furniture, but beforehand I need to make repairs.’’
2. Replace the phrase ’’I have to’’ with ’’I want to’’
Roth emphasizes in his book, ’’This exercise is very effective in getting people to realize that what they do in their lives — even the things they find unpleasant — are in fact what they have chosen.’’
A simple replacement of the verb can change the course of your life. If waking up every morning and going to work is a drag, your life will become a mess.
But, in fact, changing things is much easier than you may think. Just try focusing on what you like about your work every morning.
For example, you can think of that feeling of relief you get after completing a sophisticated project, or you can imagine yourself drinking tea and having fun with your colleagues; you can also dream of the moment when you come back home to your family. Believe or not, this simple strategy will charge you with positive energy for the whole day.
Instead of sitting around waiting for the working day to end, think about what you want to do for this company, how you can build a highly rewarding career, demonstrate your skills, and reward yourself. If you hate your job or life in general but don’t want to change anything, you can only blame yourself.
So, as you can see, there is a huge difference between ’’I have to visit my parents’’ and ’’I want to visit my parents.’’ It is always better to say ’’I want to’’ rather than ’’I have to,’’ no matter what you’re speaking about.
Employing this strategy is not easy, BUT necessary if you HAVE TO achieve success. But it is easy AND necessary if you WANT TO achieve success. Do you see the difference?