This post is an excerpt from my best-selling book A Short Course in Happiness: Practical Steps to a Happier Life.
Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I’ll try again tomorrow.” — Mary Anne Radmacher
The things we say, whether out loud or to ourselves, have a profound effect not only on how we feel, but also on what we do.
When we tell ourselves “I can’t do it” or “They’ll never allow it,” we undermine our own power and motivation to make change in our lives. When we tell ourselves “I’ll find a way” or ask “What haven’t I tried yet?” we give ourselves a feeling of hope that can help us to sustain the persistent effort we need to make things happen.
So it’s important that we pay attention to what we say.
Ask yourself this: How often are my comments positive and empowering, and how often are they negative and self-defeating? If you can shift that balance, even a little, you can have a real impact on how you feel and what you do.
Here’s one way to start the shift. If you find yourself saying things that suggest that the quality of your life is out of your hands, see if you can find a way to turn them around. One simple way is to use one of my favorite words: “Yet.”
Harnessing the Power of “Yet”
Adding “yet” to the end of a sentence can turn it from an old complaint into a new challenge. It can remind us how much power we do have, help us set goals for the future, and open us up to finding new ways to achieve them. It’s one of the surest and simplest ways to strengthen our hope and persistence – two essential elements of a happy and successful life.
Here are some examples of the power of “yet.”