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A four letter word we can live without… CAN’T

, September 14, 2012, 4 Comments

Once upon a time a hare and tortoise decided to race each other. Remember the story?  The hare as we know is a fast animal and it was a no brainer that the hare would win the race. But, the tortoise emerged the winner. The moral of the story in Aesop’s Fables is ‘Slow and steady wins the race”. There have been many interpretations of the story and I have an interpretation too…the tortoise didn’t think of CAN’T.

At the outset, it feels like the tortoise should have never challenged the hare, after all, a tortoise is a slow animal and in a race there is no way a tortoise could reach the finish line before the hare! What was the tortoise thinking?! But, the tortoise challenged the hare and it won… yipee!! This tortoise is inspiring.

Inspiration is defined as the act or power of moving the intellect or emotion. Different things can inspire us; nature, divine interventions, a song, a person, words and much more. The tortoise in Aesop’s fable inspires me… slower in walking but faster in trusting in itself and showing and teaching the world that CAN’T is not a word or idea that has a place in its world.

In our life, around us, there are plenty of naysayers, people who say you CAN’T.  As toddlers, we often heard our parents tell us ‘No you CAN’T because I told you so’. This was OK then, but today, as grown-ups, why are we allowing ourselves to say I CAN’T, NEVER and the like. Of course, this word has its merit when saying no to drugs, immoral acts or when reasoning with a toddler (I use it often with my three year old! You CAN’T have ice-cream all day!) .

CAN’T is a contraction of CAN…NOT. And it means not to be able to. When you say ‘I can’t win’ or ‘I can’t ever blah blah’ you are saying you can…not do something. Why? Do you know why? You may have powerful reasons like lack of resources, time or interest to see it through but if you can’t because you think you can’t you are wrong, my friend. CAN’T is only hindering us from moving forward. Think about it. If we had told ourselves we can’t walk every time we fell down while learning to walk, could we have picked ourselves up and started over? Or perhaps become a runner or athlete?

The argument I hear often is, that some things cannot happen because it is out of our hands and then, we start blaming karma, destiny and luck. Back to our story, the tortoise was unlucky to run into the hare, but the tortoise believed in shushing the voice that said you can’t race the hare. The tortoise told itself that it CAN!

President Barack Obama campaigned with the ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. This line does have a deeper meaning. If we tell ourselves often that we can we very well CAN.

Why don’t we start with stopping? Let’s stop saying ‘I CAN’T’ then maybe more of we can will happen automatically and change our lives for the better…

‘I can, I will and I’ll win’

This article continues  Second Part…






About author
Aarti Iyer is a Sydneysider who originally hails from Mumbai, India. She has a Masters Degree in Human Resources Management from the University of Sydney,speaks fluent French and is currently working towards her doctorate in Leadership. She is passionate about writing and author of the book “The Story of a Girl, 60Seconds That Changed Life." Her family gives meaning to her life and when not writing or studying; she enjoys travelling and spending time with her husband and young daughter. Aarti shares her experiences in her weblog FlyingBubbles. ...more

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  1. […] first article in the inspiration series introduced you to the four letter word we can live without and the second […]