A Stanford professor says eliminating 2 phrases from your vocabulary can make you more successful

The way you speak not only affects how others perceive you; it also has the potential to shape your behavior.

Swapping one word for another could make all the difference in how you approach your goals.

That’s according to Bernard Roth, a professor of engineering at Stanford and the academic director of Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, the d.school.

1. Swap ‘but’ for ‘and’
You might be tempted to say, “I want to go to the movies, but I have work to do.”

Instead, Roth suggests saying, “I want to go to the movies, and I have work 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 to the movies as well as do your work — 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. Maybe you’ll see a shorter movie; maybe you’ll delegate some of your work.

2. Swap ‘have to’ for ‘want to’
Roth recommends a simple exercise: The next few times you say “I have to” in your mind, change have to want.

“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.

For example, one of Roth’s students felt he had to take the math courses required for his graduate program, even though he hated them. At some point after completing the exercise, he realized that he really did want to take the classes because the benefit of completing the requirement outweighed the discomfort of sitting through classes he didn’t enjoy.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.