There Is No Shortcut

There Is No Shortcut

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

If I Can’t, You Can

The following sentence raises hair on my neck: You can’t do that! Activated by the lizard brain and infused with pure simplicity, this sentence inhibits all progress based on factors that are not attributable to the subject.

Example: Michael wants to jump over a fence. Jim tells him that he can’t do it. Michael asks why and Jim answers: You just can’t!

Let’s give more depth to the example. First we discard everything that is illegal, completely immoral and dangerous. Michael and Jim are neighbours; Michael simply wants to jump over Jim’s fence which is a short solid wall. Michael is in good health and is athletic. Jim on the other hand is a little pudgy and suffers from asthma.

What do we see here? Jim imposes his physical illness onto Michael based on the fact that Jim cannot jump the wall because of his inability. Can Michael jump the wall? Sure, without a problem. But since Jim in incapable, he projects his negative experiences onto others, in this case, Michael. It’s not Jim’s fault though, it’s his lizard brain. This brain is wired to play super safe and never risk too much. Jim’s intentions are fundamentally good. He would not want to see his friend and neighbour injure or hurt himself. 

Now let’s put Jim and Michael into a more “business” context. Michael wants to start investing money in the stock market. Jim being the best friend he can be tells him (you guessed): You can’t do that! Why? asks Michael. Jim goes and explains that he lost a few thousand dollars playing in the market and that he should not risk his hard earned cash into it. Little that he knows is that Michael read about 25 books on the subject and has been very careful on his approach to investing. He follows a time proven method that enables his to find safety in investments. Michael is already doing well in the markets.

Morale of this story: we all have our own Jim - either inside of our head or close to us. Jim can be our brother, a friend, an acquaintance. It does not matter. In most cases, Jim will tell you "you can’t do that " because he can’t. 

But you can.

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