The Yet Mindset

My fingers were clenched and full of chalk. My right knee was turning black and blue. “I can’t climb it,” I said, barely audible, unaware that people were even listening.

“Yet,” said the little boy to my right. I looked over at him, wondering how long he’s been standing there. He continued, “Whenever you feel like you can’t do something, just add the word ‘yet’ to the sentence.”

And so I did what probably made me look like a madman. I laughed. Then I told him he was right.

I’m constantly amazed at the wisdom children can possess. Here I am, a 30-year old man whose entire life’s work has been in motivating people, and I’m schooled by a teenager whose simple lama-esque wisdom helped me realize my own limited thinking.

So, I’m sharing this wisdom with you. Whenever you whisper the words “I can’t” to yourself, just add in the word “yet”.

Because here’s the thing. We only have so much time here on this earth, and it’s up to us on how we want to use that time.

If you’re like me, you want to laugh as much as possible, help as many people as you can, and suck out all the marrow of life, as Thoreau put it.

I want to have real meaningful impact. And perhaps you do too. But working to make an impact on the world means constantly pushing yourself to do things that challenge you, some of which may drive you to say, “I can’t.”

To do that, I need to develop and maintain a limitless mindset. So, I’m adding the word “yet” to my daily lexicon — right up there with “please” and “thank you.”

It’s going on my screensaver, on little Post-it notes I’ll paste in the refrigerator, and I’m even thinking of creating a coffee cup with the word “Yet” on it so every time I take a sip, I’ll be reminded of this boy’s wisdom.

Wisdom I need to remember because this summer I’m challenging myself more than I ever have as an entrepreneur.

And the truth is, I’m scared.

I’ve lost a lot in my life over the last few years, as my wife and I battle Lyme Disease, and the constant failure for her to regain health has seeped into other facets of our lives. Every time I start something new, something I hope will make an impact, I’m terrified of failure.

Which brought me to rock climbing.

With this new chapter in my life, I’ve decided to challenge one of my greatest fears: the fear of heights. I’m learning how to rock climb. My hands are hurting. My feet are blistered. But I’m still climbing and growing stronger and look forward to the challenges ahead.

I’m not the entrepreneur I want to be, yet. And I’m not the rock climber I want to be, yet.

My wife still struggles with Lyme Disease and she’s not fully recovered, yet.

There’s a whole lot that I haven’t done, yet.

Yet, yet, yet.

That’s a three-letter word that I’m going to be using a lot in the future, and perhaps you will too.

Just remember that it wasn’t me who said it. We have a starry-eyed young rock climber to thank for the reminder.

What about you? What have you been struggling with too? What’s your “yet”?

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