Swap "but" for "and"

In his new book The Achievement Habit, Bernard Roth suggests several linguistic tweaks that can make you more successful. Here are two to apply into your life.

  1. Swap 'but' for 'and'.

When we are faced with seemingly 2 alternatives such as wanting to go out with friends or studying, we may say, "I want to go out with my friends, but I have to study tonight." Instead, Roth suggests saying, "I want to go out with my friends, and I have studying to do."

He writes: "When you use the word but, you create a conflict (and sometimes a reason) for yourself that does not really exist." In other words, it's possible to go out with your friends as well as study — you just need to find a solution. Meanwhile, when you use the word and, "your brain gets to consider how it can deal with both parts of the sentence," Roth writes.

  1. Swap ‘have to’ for ‘want to’

"This exercise is very effective in getting people to realize that what they do in their lives — even the things they find unpleasant — are in fact what they have chosen," he says.

Roth goes on to say, “Both of these tweaks are based on a key component of a problem-solving strategy called design thinking. When you employ this strategy, you try to challenge your automatic thinking and see things as they really are. When you experiment with different language, you may realize that a problem isn't as unsolvable as it seems, and that you have more control over your life than you previously believed.”

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