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Day 321 - N is for NEVER

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Never say never." --old English proverb

'I'm done with cigarettes - I'm NEVER going to smoke again!' 'It took days for my ankle to recover - I'm NEVER going to try skating again!' 'I've finally reached my goal - I'm NEVER going to gain that weight back again!'

We vow and swear and guarantee. We promise ourselves, knowing exactly what we will and won't do. But in the all-or-nothing category, if you fail 'never,' what will the result be?

It could be an excuse for losing all control: 'I ate that huge piece of chocolate cake. I might just as well have another - I'm never going to lose weight, anyway.' 'I followed my exercise plan every day for two weeks, but I didn't feel like it yesterday, so I didn't do it. Why bother? I'm never going to get fit.'

Maybe it's another form of perfectionism: 'SHE's been a size 8 since high school - I bet she never overeats.' 'My neighbor jogs at least two miles every morning - I bet HE never has an off day.' Meaning, of course, 'Since I can't attain the perfection of her / him, I might as well give up before I start.'

When we make a firm commitment using the word 'never,' are we setting ourselves up for failure?

Perhaps a little reworking would help: 'No matter how many times I have to try to quit smoking, I'll never give up.' 'I know I can lose weight - I'll never quit trying.'

You may hear that words like 'never' are somehow wrong, not to be used, as if the word itself is negative. It comes down to the optimist / pessimist point of view, though, doesn't it? Positive self-talk as opposed to negative self-talk - 'I'll never quit' instead of 'I'll never succeed.'

Take such words and make them your own. You can create motivation and build morale from any word - if you want to.

"Resolved, never to lose one moment of time, to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.
"Resolved, never to do anything which I should despise or think meanly of in another.
"Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.
"Resolved, never to do anything which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life." --Jonathan Edwards
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    One of my favorie sayings has been. Never say never.
    3053 days ago
    Love it...and so so true...we do it to ourselves all the time....well I know I can
    3053 days ago
    Wow... this is so incredibly inspirational. Thanks so much.
    3053 days ago
    And I'll never stop learning from your entries, Kasey! Thanks again!
    3053 days ago
    So true that we naturally use the word never in the worst possible sense. A fantastic point you've made! I can see some areas where I need to take a different approach to things.. Thanks for the inspiration to do just that!

    3053 days ago
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