Show/Hide Navigation

Try saying “I Choose Not to” instead of “I Can’t”

Too busy for the adventure you dream of?

Too skint to head to the hills?

Not skilled enough to paddle the river?

Too many things on to begin writing that book?

Here’s a small experiment to try:

Instead of saying to yourself, “I don’t have the time to do this” or “I can’t afford to go on that trip”, try saying – out loud – the same thing but using “choose not to”….

“I choose not to do this.”

“I choose not to save up for that trip.”

Of course, there are genuine limits and constraints on all our lives. None of us has as much time, money or expertise as we’d like to have.

But most of the time, if you want something – really want it – you can find a way.

Saying to yourself that you choose not to do it might help clear your head and make you realise that what you thought was a genuine constraint is actually just a mental block you have created for yourself.

Perhaps you are scared, perhaps it will be really difficult, perhaps you don’t quite have the will to make it happen.

But at least now you’ll be a little closer to having an honest answer…

Read Comments

You might also like

The Reading Lists A website I like called The Reading Lists interviewed me recently. I thought I would share it here… When someone asks you ‘what do you do for a living?’ – How do you respond? It depends! Normally I don’t like […]...
Social Media Advice A while ago I gave a talk about social media and how to use it well. I intended to write up my notes afterwards into an amazing, comprehensive blog post. But I still  have not got round to it, and now […]...
11 Questions pinched from Tim Ferriss Tim Ferriss had an excellent idea of asking a bunch of people who inspired him the same 11 practical questions and making the answers into a book. I’m quite sure Tim couldn’t care two hoots about my answers, but here […]...


  1. I scrapped “I can’t” from my vocabulary in favour of “I can’t yet”, similar logic and it’s surprising how noticeably effective it is.

  2. Love this!

  3. Peter Reilly Posted

    [In Scottish Accent] “…Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing f-ing junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, Messed-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life . . . ”

    Choose the Outdoors 🙂

  4. This is beautiful Al.

  5. Wise words Alastair, analogous in some ways to the approach that some may aspire to in dealing with their ‘too hard’ piles at work!

  6. Having spent 3 years on the sofa “planning” and accumulating enough kit to do a world tour, yet failing to make it out the door.. Then you quote me at me” lifes what happens while you are planning” comes like a kick up the backside, to go back to my old moto of “just do it” Cheers

  7. Hello, I agree with your idea. We sometimes take too long to think, too much excuses then we lost the chance for the best experience we might to have.

  8. Man… so true!
    I love your “office”. It’s amazing



Post a Comment

HTML tags you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

© Copyright 2012 Alastair Humphreys. All rights reserved. Site design by JSummerton