rene van hulst


This article was written on 26 Nov 2020, and is filled under Actual, Thoughts.

New words

We need new words. With the second lockdown in full swing, we need even more positivism to keep on going, to keep a way of open mindedness as not to feel and realise the sad goodbye to our old lives. That’s why we need new words or at least rephrase a lot of our old vocabulary. Words that hinder us instead of helping us. Words that close up opportunities instead of creating new ones.

I came across an article form Professor Bernard Roth from Standford University. He has come up with 5 words/phrases that can transform your (work) life. Ok, it is a bit American, but wait to you see the words he wants us to rephrase… Try to use these words by yourself and see if and what they change in your mindset… Strange or not.

  • Instead of but use and.
    The use of ‘but’ closes the conversation space, while ‘and’ opens it. His example “I want this internship but I’m afraid of flying” immediately illustrates that two separate things are now connected and in your mind become one, whereas both may be true but not necessarily are connected.
  • Instead of saying “have to” use “want to”
    Have to do something is forced upon us, want to is a chosen route.
  • Instead of “can’t” use “won’t”
    Can’t implies helpless; won’t signifies choice.
  • Instead of “I’m afraid to” say “I’d like to”
    I’m afraid to is actually the most blocking phrase in our vocabulary. It acknowledges our fears instead of our desires and presets your mind to consider what could go wrong.
  • Instead of “help” use “assist”
    Help is in our mind attached to ‘helplessness’, implying that somebody is incapable of achieving something. If we with to assist, it actually empowers ourselves as we become an important and capable part of the solution.

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