Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Dose of Pleasure Thursday – One Little Word Can Change Your Life

If I asked you what you most want, what would you reply? Hold an image of the thing you desire in your mind. What's stopping you from having it? When I ask my clients this question, they often say something to the effect of “Well, I'd like to get more fulfilling job (insert your want here) but...” The dreaded “B” word. That stubby little three-letter word throws a wrench in even the greatest of plans. It's a perfect way to throw up roadblocks to your dreams (and to more pleasure) and unleash the virus of negativity in your mind.

I don't know about you, but my mind just loves to come up with “buts.” If there's something that I want, my mind will happily list all of the reasons that I can't have it. I guess you could say I'm a Buthead (ha, ha). Then I started replacing that nasty little three-letter “B” word for this word:


Ah, yes, that's one small word, but it packs a powerful punch. It's the perfect antidote to “but.” Using the word “and” reminds us that there is possibility and choice where doubt and fear once stood. For example: “I want to get a more fulfilling job and I'm going to start researching careers that interest me.” That sounds a whole lot more positive than “I want to get a more fulfilling job but I don't know what I want to do.”

My brain likes to focus on the “how,” which ultimately snags me up in a state of overwhelm, which, in turn, makes me want to go bury my head in the sand and stick with the status quo. When I take “but” out of my vocabulary, my mind is forced to take a different route – one of solution rather than problem.

What would happen to your life if you substituted “and” for “but?” I'm sure your perspective would shift, and that shift could make your life more pleasurable. Here's a little inspiration:

  • I'd like to start eating better and I'm going to buy myself a book on nutrition.
  • I'd like to have more time for myself and I'm going to block out 2 hours every Sunday to do just that.
  • I'd like to meet someone with whom I can share a loving, committed relationship, and I'm going to attend that social mixer my friend is hosting.
  • I'd like to cut back my hours at work and I'm going to start by checking my email twice a day which will allow me to get more work done in a shorter period of time.
  • I'd like to get more sleep at night and I'm going to go to bed 15 minutes earlier tonight and eventually build up to 1 hour.

Are you seeing the power of the “and?” Think of how differnent the above statements would be if you had a “but” in there. Try it for yourself. For one whole week insert the word “and” where you would normally use the word “but” and report back please. I want to hear about the extra added pleasure that you experienced by using one simple word.

Have a pleasure-filled day,


Diane Cesa is a yoga practitioner and teacher, lover of life, tea drinker, adventurer, eternal optimist, nature fan, blogger and self-proclaimed pleasure maven.

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1 comment:

Lisa said...

Love it!

Reminds me of why I love improv. In improv there is the "rule" of "yes, and" - in other words, you don't get to say no to the other person's creativity, you have to say yes, and "and" is your chance to have fun too.