Words Matter – Try or Do, it’s Up to You.

Good advice comes from many sources. Mom is notorious for knowing best, and most of us have a favourite teacher whose words of wisdom echo through our lives, but sometimes the advice comes from a 3 foot high, 864 year old alien.

My father illustrated this in a café in Vancouver, when he laid the spoon he had just used to scoop four loads of sugar into his cup of coffee onto the Formica table and said to me: “Try to pick up the spoon.”

After wondering briefly if the old man was cracking up, and examining the situation for possible traps, I reached out my hand and picked it up.

“You failed,” he said, taking the utensil out of my small hand. After placing the spoon on the table again, he repeated his direction to TRY to pick up the spoon.

I was a pretty clever 9-year-old, but as I sat there, I didn’t know how I was going to cope with a batty old man for a father. Watching his face for signs of drooling, I slowly reached out and grasped the spoon and lifted.

“No,” he smirked “fail.”

“Well what do you mean, then?” I said in the exasperated tone only a pre-teen can master.

“You’ll have to think about it.” And it became apparent that he would not entertain any other questions or conversation until I had solved the riddle.

Now that I am a parent, I recognise that he was not only teaching me an important life lesson, but that he was also desperate for a quiet cup of coffee.

The trick is, of course, that once you actually pick up the spoon, you are no longer trying, you are doing.

The words we choose shape our world. By changing the words we use, we can change our lives radically. Watch now as we see this in action.


How many times have you been in a situation where you can chose between saying something negative and something positive? Probably every time you open your mouth or move your fingers across the keys.

How often do you say “I have to…” when you talk about your plans for the day? I’m going to challenge you to change it to “I want to…” and make note of the results. Are you calmer and less stressed? Do you look forward to your week more?

And what about how we talk about our goals? You have probably heard that sharing your goals with others is a good strategy.

You may be surprised at the results of the research that Derek Sivers shares in the following  TED.x talk. I know I was!

So, what is your secret goal for this month? NO! Don’t tell me! Write it down. Seal it in an envelope and then get to work. If you come back and share your results here, I will send you a free gift. Good luck in reaching your goal and making every day a great one!


5 thoughts on “Words Matter – Try or Do, it’s Up to You.

  1. Laila, I just loved the Ted video, and I am at the very moment thinking of my goal for this month, I really have not been very much on telling anyone my goals, but I do believe in writing them down, and saying my I am statements daily, I also believe to just say your I am statements without action is delusional, but to say them and then do the action to see them come to fruitation is very helpful for me. Instead of looking at my circumstances at the present moment and focusing on the problems I believe it just increases those problems, but I am not the person that my circumstances looks like I am, I am much more, and very capable. I just love this new experiment, can’t wait to write it down and seal it, then open in a month and see how close I am to that goal. Thanks for the awesome info. hugs, Vanessa

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