Sunday, August 7, 2016

What Can You Do vs What Can't You Do?

This world is divided up into two MAIN realities:
  1. Things you CAN do.
  2. Things you CAN'T do.
Please see your mother, father, guardian, teacher, PE instructor, counselor, principal, clergyman, congressmen, law enforcement, truant officer and corporate-owned TV news for details on the matter in the physical world of rules, laws, jurisdictions, cultural norms, dogma and TV ratings.

For the remainder ... let's talk.

I wish to bring about the reality - what you can do vs what you can't do - as it plays out in our own minds, and within the communication we have with friends, family, coworkers and most importantly Facebook followers.

Here is the example. A friend calls you with a request some help moving. He or she needs help. What is your first thought? Of course it can depend on many factors, but I maintain that your brain is either programmed for what you CAN do in this situation or what you CAN'T do.

Imagine the face of the person with a CAN do attitude upon hearing the request.  The head is cocked to the side, a bit tilted upwards with eyes to the sky. They are asking themselves "what is possible" "what can I do" "how can I contribute to my friend?"  The face of the person bent on a CAN'T DO approach has eyes narrow, looking down, using most of his or her energy on figuring out "what can I do to get out of any sort of work, obligation or effort?"

This is subtle stuff!

It's way below the surface, but the effects are felt in a very profound way, especially within the give and take of relationships.

In our previous example, the CAN'T person will either quickly find an excuse not to help out on the move, or simply not reply if the request is in e-mail or voicemail. (Note: Though they will never say they "won't" do something, some may be simply open enough to say "nope," "no," or, of course, "can't."

The CAN people will search their minds to make it a "yes" on the request or - and here is the key point - they will open up their minds to see what is POSSIBLE as solution for the one requesting help. A true friend, a true support system, and a truly flexible and conscious thinker, the CAN person's mind goes into a direction of the need. These people consider ways in which their friends' needs can be met. A mutual friend? A local support group? A moving company? It doesn't matter what the solution is or could be; what matters is that the CAN person leans towards solution and care.

The CAN'T person dwells, even in the subconscious mind, on what is not going to work and what is not possible. The CAN'T person is all too satisfied with a "no" and then moving onto the next "no." In relationship, it's a drag, it's a drain and it's like having a conversation in a room with a 4-foot ceiling. The CAN person lives in possibility. He or she isn't a doormat or a "yes man" agreeing to whatever comes their way. This type of person is in touch with those around them and comes up with various options and ideas in this play we call life.

So moving forward in your own life, what are your thoughts around coming from a state of mind rich with options, possibilities and a connection to friend's needs and dreams?

Can you do it?

Or can you not? 

Jim Ellis is a writer and producer living in San Diego, California. He can be reached at

No comments:

Post a Comment