Get Off Your BUT! – by Chris Cade
First of all, I can’t lay claim to the brilliant pun in the subject line of this email. It’s the name of a book by Sean Stephenson (who was a truly amazing human being) which is all about eliminating excuses from our lives and choosing a path of success and happiness.
His story is actually quite amazing…
When he was born doctors predicted he wouldn’t survive past birth because of a rare bone disorder that stunted his growth and caused his bones to be extremely fragile. In fact, by the time he was 18 he had already broken over 200 bones.
Yes, two HUNDRED.
Despite these challenges and living an incredibly painful life, he made a choice early in life to stand for a positive empowering quality of life that has reached millions of people around the world, including Sir Richard Branson, President Clinton, and his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
He appeared on everything from The Oprah Show to Youtube videos with millions of views. The Biography Channel did an hour feature on his life called, “Three Foot Giant.” And he was also married to a very powerful and inspiring woman who I met several years back when they had just begun dating. Unfortunately, this world lost a blessed soul when Sean transitioned in 2019.
Now, back to the subject line. A while back, I was exploring what it means to “Trust in God but tie your camel.”
The thing is, every time I’ve heard anybody say it, that struck me as odd. The reason is that our words are very powerful. The words we use are reflective of our unconscious choices (whether we like them or not).
I always said it as “trust in God and tie your camel.”
That’s because when we use the word “but” we are actually *limiting* our opportunities to succeed and be happy in life.
“I love him, but hate it when he leaves the toilet seat up.”
“I love my job, but I wish I had more money.”
The examples can go on forever. Unconsciously, the word “but” creates a separation between the two things we’re talking about. This separation, this split, ultimately causes us some psychological stress internally (often unconscious).
In the examples above, it can show up as a frustration with the man, the toilet seat, the job, the money… or even all of them! It can lead us to unconsciously self-sabotage our efforts at success and happiness. Maybe not in huge ways, but at least in little ways.
We may not not even understand why we feel frustrated or “slightly agitated.” This is the nature of feeling separate from things. It causes disharmony. Un-peace. Discontent.
That’s why whenever possible, I use the word “and” to bridge things. For example:
“I love him AND look forward to connecting with him in ways that he understands why placing the toilet seat down is important to me.”
“I love my job AND am making empowering choices to create more financial abundance in my life.”
You’ll notice I didn’t just change the word “but” to “and” either. Simply using the word “and” literally orients my brain towards POSSIBILITY. Towards OPPORTUNITY.
Everything that follows “and” in those sentences orients towards positive empowered thinking.
“But” is a word that, by its very nature, is limiting. “But” actually orients our brains towards scarcity, limitation, and even fear.
“And” by its very nature is expanding and inclusive.
From now on, whenever you find yourself about to use the word “but” pause for a moment and ask yourself a simple question:
“What other words express my sentiments more positively?”
Chances are, you’ll be able to find an “and” in there somewhere.
I’m not saying to never use the word “but…”
I’m just suggesting that you use it when *necessary* and not as a default to justify thinking in limited or constricting ways.