Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. ~ George Bernard Shaw


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posted by Dave Dame date-icon January 28, 2015

The word "Can't"bothers me. It strikes a nerve with me. When I hear the word "Can't" I interpret that as someone is not going to try. Can't is convenient. Can't is crippling. I hear they're not prepared to go through the struggle and effort. I hear that someone is not willing to pick themselves up when they fall.

My wife and I recently relocated to a new city which meant I had to hire a whole new support staff to help me in the mornings at 5 AM with my personal care (shaving, showering, and dressing). This means I have to trust strangers to whom I have only just met with my life. I have to instruct them to help me get ready in the morning. This puts me in a highly vulnerable situation. One person that I hired (now fired) did not take the time to learn the specifics of my morning routine. There is nothing medical about my morning routine, but it is highly detailed to ensure everything is just right for me to be independent through out the day. This person almost caused me to fall in the shower a number of times. I felt crippled for the first time in a long time. I was frustrated. Angry. I am trying to get ready for my first day at my new job but not sure I will make it out of the bathtub.. Luckily, my wife jumped in to help me get ready so I can be at work at 7:30 AM. When I get dressed, my clothes have to be lined up with such precision to allow me to go to the bathroom independently at work. The margin of failure is only inches. This is a routine that I've continually refined over my life to strive to get more independent to allow me to have a "normal" life. My job of being Dave and managing my needs is a 24/7 job on top of my professional job.

I don’t share this with you to feel sorry for me. I’m simply giving background to why I have no tolerance for the word can’t or cannot accept the excuse that something is too difficult to try. If I did not do anything that was difficult, I would not even get out of bed in the morning.

Let “Can’t” be the start of the story, not the ending. Let “Can’t” drive you, not constrain you. To get something you've never had, you must do something you've never done. You have to change. You have to endure scars to achieve what seems impossible. You have to struggle. You have to be resilient. Anything worth having is worth struggling for. Try. Fail. Try again. Our journey will be made up of falling and picking ourselves up.

These are my scars to endure. Scars serve as a reminder to the past, but it does not tell us about the future. Change is challenging, frustrating, and terrifying. There is no growth without change. The struggle has to be fought, because the journey has to continue.