Wednesday, March 24, 2010


“If only I’d gotten that promotion,” the young man said to his friend. “Man, if I woulda got it I coulda got on that executive fast track. I’m so bummed. I really shoulda got that promotion, you know. Now I’m just stuck with the other losers.”

In about fifteen seconds, this young turk placed himself squarely in the middle of “the other losers.” And not because he didn’t get the promotion.

He did so because he decided to speak the language of losers. He invoked the “if-onlies” along with the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” lament. These are the phrases that tend to lead people down the path of regret, blame, stress and often crisis. Rather than looking forward to the real opportunities ahead, they focus on the perceived lost opportunities behind. They talk about what they’ve lost rather than on what they can gain.

In the battles we fight today for the treasures we seek tomorrow, we need to be mindful of what our focus is and how our words can either obscure or clarify it.

Pursue your purpose. Pitch everything else.

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