Tag Archives: Freedom

Self-imposed limitations – I Can’t

Two words that I loathe more than any:  I can’t.  It should not even be grammatically correct to use those two words.  These are the words that will probably prevent 90% of people to do things they want.  To try new things.  To actually experience their lives rather than ride shotgun in an armour plated safety car.  So I wanted to express my feelings towards these words and why I feel you should remove them completely.

I’ll start with my alternatives: I will/will not, I have/have not, I do/do not.  These are either or, in or out, win or lose.  They do not imply being stuck in some sort of limbo between trying and giving up.  Which is exactly what I can’t is.  You can’t give up something you haven’t tried, but you can’t be trying at something you haven’t even started.  It is something that exist entirely in your head.  People will use it as an excuse for things they actually don’t want to do or have no real interest in doing, but they feign interest this way.  Like ‘Oh I wish I could wake up early but I just can’t’ ‘I want to be better at but I just can’t’ ‘I can’t play the guitar’ ‘I can’t  can’t can’t’etc etc.  And the problem begins before anything takes place, this mindset will then stop people from even attempting something.  So what is the solution?

A revolution is the only solution.  A shift from insecurities and doubts into confidence and excitement.  A movement from thoughts of failure to possibilities of success.  But most important, the idea that trying, attempting something is the only possible way to know whether you can or not.  But not just trying, actually putting your heart and soul into it.  Don’t even worry about whether or not you will fail.  If you fail you have two choices: quit, or think about what you did incorrectly and then adjust.  The author of The Practicing Mind puts it perfectly with his method called DOC, which stands for ‘Do, Observe, Correct’.  This is an incredibly useful tool.  While used extensively for dedicated practice, it can prove to be quite useful when beginning something.  It requires removing all judgement and ego completely.  The idea being is you ‘do’ what it is you try to do, say shooting a basketball.  You then ‘observe’ what happened.  Did you overthrow or underthrow?  Now, before any tiny bit of judgement like ‘damn I suck’ or ‘I’ll never get that hoop’, you immediately ‘Correct’.  Now correcting a mistake in something may require more knowledge in the field, however the idea stands:  do what is necessary to correct what went wrong and try again.  Wash, rinse and repeat.

This simple methodology can really be applied in any aspect of your life.  But it is extremely important to remove any judgement.  Forget about winning or losing, doing the right thing or hitting the target.  These things are not what are important.  The greatest athletes on earth have missed far more than they’ve hit.  You simply attempt it, see what went wrong and adjust accordingly.  If everybody applied this to any new endeavour, I don’t think ‘I can’t’ would be known anymore.  The issue of course is people don’t want to try something they already think they can’t do.  Most people want safe.  They are afraid of ridicule, of failing, of looking silly.  Unfortunately without removing these a person may never come close to achieving their full potential, which is the sad thing about life.  Summed up in another Socrates quote from the book that really stuck a chord after the passing of his friend:

‘Death isn’t sad.  The sad thing is: most people don’t live at all’

So dive head-first into life

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It is written

The last couple of days for me have been quite incredible.  And it’s not so much what happened but how things happened.  I thought I’d just write a quick post about it all and tie in with a term known as maktub.  For those who don’t know, this word is used in Paulo Coelho’s book The Alchemist – which is an amazing book I would recommend to everybody.  But basically, it’s an arabic word that means ‘it is written’.  I’ve wanted a reason to write about this and I think I have one now.

The idea is that everything in this world – no, the universe – has been written.  For a more western analogy, it is akin to the saying ‘everything happens for a reason’.  More importantly though, is that everything is written by the same hand.  The deeper meaning of it all that every single moment in your life, every tiny and seemingly insignificant occasion, every major and overwhelming event – has all been written, and written for a reason.  When you look at your life this way, you could do two things.  First, you could ignore it, it’s all fairy tale stuff anyway right?  Or second, you could apply it to your life, and realise that everything you do has it’s purpose, and approach every moment in your life with 100% of your spirit.

Now, I’ll explain a little more about why this has come about for me in the last week or so.  At the moment I’ve been playing around on my GoPro, making soccer videos and other things.  So about two weeks ago I film a game and the team we played against were absolutely incredible.  I had never seen skills in person like that before – pro videos yes, not in real life.  Anyway after the game I talk to a couple of the guys and asked if I could put videos up because I thought they were really good, and they were really happy for me to do that.  So that night I put up just a quick video, because I didn’t have too much time to make anything bigger, here’s the video in question:

As you can see, that goal was ridiculous.  But anyway, moving on, I didn’t really think about it too much after doing this.  Since then two pretty incredible things have happened.  First, I saw the guy in the video the next time we played Futsal.  He thought the video was really good and has now offered to pay me to do more videos for him.  I couldn’t really believe it and was never planning on making money doing videos.  I don’t even know if I’ll be able to do good videos for him, but I’m excited to try and see where it goes.  Now the next part of the story is still a little unbelievable for me.  There were two brothers on that team, also really great players.  My best mate had a house cooling down party on Friday night.  It turns out those two brothers are good friends with my best mate and were there that night.  I am still spinning out at how small the world is.  But, more to the point we chatted heaps and got along really well, and they were quite impressed with the way I played and now want me to play A grade outdoor soccer with them.  Which first, is incredibly flattering, as a player I’ve never considered myself special, I just play with all my heart.  But, it is also really exciting for me and opens up so many possibilities for the future.

So, the point of my post today is not to brag.  The point is that the universe works in mysterious ways and it really is written.  Chance encounters with strangers can have such massive impacts on your life.  I’ve taken upon myself to treat every conversation with a stranger as important as a conversation with the king.  Because you just don’t know what someone has to offer you, or what you can offer them.  And if you are hostile or rude on first encounter, the door closes extremely fast.  I can think back to that Futsal game, and things could have gone completely different if I let losing the game get to me and let anger out.  By keeping a happy and cool attitude and played the game, that door not only stayed upon, but was almost inviting me in.  And so, while that is a very personal event for me, I wanted to make the point that if you put 100% into every moment of your life, you just don’t know what could happen, but I guarantee whatever happens will be much better than if you just ‘let things happen’ or treat others badly because you had a bad day at work or get impatient.  And I’ll finish with a sentence used in The Peaceful Warrior which not only relates so well to the topic of this post, but also serves as a lead on to what my next post will be.

‘There are no ordinary moments’