Remove the word “but” from your vocabulary, and get more out of life. This word is too often used to state something that we deem conditional. For example, I want to go on a vacation, but I don’t have a lot of money. Or I want a meaningful relationship, but I’m very busy. When we put the word “but” after stating what we want, we automatically create difficulties for ourselves in achieving it. We start to think that what we want isn’t possible until we have sorted our something else first.
Consider that they are unrelated.
The reality is that those four statements are completely irrelevant to each other. They only become connected through our logic. Let’s experiment swapping “but” with “and.”
I want to go on a vacation, and I don’t have a lot of money.
I want a meaningful relationship, and I’m very busy.
You might see for yourself that they don’t need a lot of money to have a nice vacation away from the regular grind. You can enjoy a beautiful weekend out of town, camping, traveling, road-tripping, or walking on an easy budget. Anything you want can be a period relaxation and freedom.
You can have a relationship that is supportive and loving that keeps up with a busy schedule. It doesn’t take a lot of time to laugh and to tell someone you love them.
We always find a way.
Often we find a way to go beyond the “conditional want” when we are dealing with a priority. For example, “I want to go out, but I have to work tomorrow” isn’t unusual to change into “I want to go out, and I have to work tomorrow,” explicitly stating that it’s going to be a brief night out. The intrigue of going out sometimes is so strong that it finds a way to make both works. If it was an effective day at work in the morning, is a different question…
Managing both happens when we go beyond our “buts” and “ifs,” our wants become unconditional when we are dealing with priority number 1, we will always find a way to fit it in our schedule.
As a child, we didn’t have any conditions to our wants. We were given advice, and after time many of us chose to abide by those conditions we truly believe in, and consequently we close off other conditions from consideration. Tim Ferris (best-selling author of the 4 hour work week, 4-hour body and 4-hour chef) shows perfectly how questioning the status-quo can prove to have surprising results.
Practice for efficiency.
Where it is good to develop this habit is in areas that are important to us but aren’t urgent. I.e Tuning up our car, our health, our finances… If keeping up with your health is important to you and you don’t seem to have any time in your schedule, say “I want to work out, and I have no time in my schedule.” Opportunities will show up in questions like; Where can I make time? What can I drop that isn’t as important? What can I delegate? This is something I have been applying in my life personally, and as a result feel finer than the sands of Barcelona’s beaches.
Choosing to connect two facts with “and” not “but” is choosing to be powerful in the areas that are important, especially in the face of challenging circumstances.
Applying it in your life.
I invite you now to try this in your life. Anywhere that you feel that you have to make a decision, either at work, a weekend activity, a purchase or a dinner, replace your “but” with “and” and see if there are any solutions that appear that you didn’t see before. It won’t look like you first expected, and if you are happy with that, you just applied this human-state-physics bender. Bravo.
As a summary, recognizing that the facts are unrelated with the help of linking them with “and” instead of “but” your creativity will open up and play with possibilities, which can attain what you want and sustain what works in your life.