The Vortex of Can’t

I had the misfortune recently of sitting in on a meeting that was quickly swallowed up by the Vortex of Can’t. Everyone, not nearly everyone, I mean everyone, was discussing the things that they can’t do. This by the way was with a group of people who are paid to do what they can. 


After 45 minutes of listening to this I announced I was leaving the meeting. I suggested they invite me back to another meeting when they were ready to discuss what they could do. I haven’t heard anything from the group yet. 


I believe that success in any endeavor is about momentum. Momentum is actually pretty easy to build and that’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s also easy to build momentum in the wrong direction. 


Discussing all the things you can’t do in a planning meeting is building momentum in the wrong direction. 


The most successful people think in terms of what they can do while less successful people think in terms of what they can’t do. The difference in that thought process produces very different results. 


We are all faced from time to time with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. We must never allow those obstacles to prevent us from overcoming all the obstacles that we CAN. The fact that we may see a challenge somewhere down the road must not stop us from beginning the journey. Many things can happen on the path to success. By the time you reach the roadblock it may be gone or you may have gained some knowledge or skills that make it possible to work your way around it. 


Never let the fact that you’re not yet certain how your success story will end stop you from beginning to write it.


Henry Ford said that “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” 


Success begins with a mindset of CAN, it’s not possible to simply think your way into success but you most certainly can think your way out of it. 

Focus on CAN and it will be far more likely that you actually will! 

7 thoughts on “The Vortex of Can’t

  1. We can always do something. But I am amazed at the number of people who search for the things that can’t be done like they think there is a reward. I appreciate your reference to the Vortex too. It does suck others in and we all must resist. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Mike, yep, the vortex is powerful and lots of people are very comfortable there. No expectations survive in the vortex but unfortunately success doesn’t survive there either.

  2. I love the quote from Henry Ford, and the concept. I believe that old saying, “you can do anything you put your mind to.” So keep your mind set on what you can do as opposed to what you can’t. The can’t vortex stops progress in its tracks. Great post! Thanks.

    1. Thanks Brian, it’s so easy to full into the “can’t” mindset and people in it are the last to notice. Thinking in terms of “can” make ALL the difference between having a chance to succeed and no chance at all.

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