Worse than the word “like” that seems to pepper my speech like powder on a donut, covering the cakey circle in layers of sugary dust that makes a mess on my fingers, a white mustache on my face and sprinkles what looks like dandruff on my clothes, turning me from the classy lady, to a sticky fingered embarrassed child, is the word “but”. Yes, the world “but” is worse than the world “like”. I can wash my hands, wipe my face and shake the powder from my clothes and—voila, like magic, no one knows that I had eaten a 500 calorie, trans-fat, unhealthy donut. If anyone asks, for all they know I could have eaten an apple.
The word “but”, however, is a word that reveals your secret and exposes your weakness forcing you to lose face by admitting your action and puts you on the spot as you attempt to string together a set of justified excuses or, in the end, a handful of lies.
“I saw your car at the donut shop, I thought you were trying to lose weight,” a friend might ask.
“Ummm…yes….” I would stutter, “I am but I didn’t have time to make oatmeal this morning so I stopped for a donut instead.”
But…but…but….excuses, excuses, excuses. Why is it, that we let this word frequent our speech and furthermore, accept the explanations as justified reasons instead of just owning up to our faults, flaws or weaknesses? How many times have we heard or said, “Sorry I am late, but….”, or “I would like to do that, but…”
Stop. Stop with the excuses. Eliminate this word. Change your life. If you want to lose weight, no excuses—eat healthy and exercise. If you dream of traveling but are stuck in your 9 to 5, no excuses—start saving your money and figure out ways to incorporate traveling into your life. If you’ve always wanted to take a painting class, learn Spanish, grow prize-winning flowers, fly-fish in a fresh water stream, or go back to school, no excuses—formulate a strategy and make time.
If you eliminate excuses, then you’ll begin to lead a life of action. Instead of littering your life with broken promises and unfulfilled dreams, you’ll be filling your life with a desire, commitment, dedication and perseverance to make a change, taking charge of your actions, your future, and your life. By removing “but” from your vocabulary, you’ll be able to replace it with the most powerful phrase, “I am”.