Family 2014, They Can, Can

They Can; I Can

Here is a little tip for success I call, “They can; I can.”

You might utilize this tip when you need to approach a particular challenge. Challenges can be exhilarating, yet they can also be frustrating. When we find ways to manage our frustration, we increase our ability to meet a challenge. Frustration can be overcome with inspiration.

“They can; I can” is based on the power of example, or should I say numerous positive examples. Let’s say you work for a company and are tasked with learning a new skill. Maybe the organization you work for wants you to learn a new language. Perhaps, you need to learn new computer skills.

At times, when we are asked to do something new, particularly in an area we do not have much experience in, we feel a bit afraid. In fact, our fear may make us shy away from setting out to accomplish the task at hand. We might find ourselves in a perpetual cycle of procrastination. We fear doing something, so we avoid doing it which leads to more fear.

Instead, we can use “They can; I can.” Find an individual, preferably a bunch of individuals, who have successfully accomplished what you need to accomplish. When seeking out these people look for individuals like yourself. If you are not experienced in studying a language find examples of success in people who, like you, are not experts in language acquisition, but who have successfully learned a second or third language. Use these individuals as inspiration for what you need to do.

Sometimes, the examples of people who have overcome great challenges does not need to be in your area of endeavor. For example, a few years back I interviewed a woman who suffered with a heart ailment. Eventually, she needed and underwent a heart transplant. Subsequently, she went on to climb mountains. Big mountains! Talk about inspiration. When I am feeling overwhelmed, I think of her and it motivates me, even though my challenges are different than hers.

So, the next time you are faced with a challenge, find others who have done what you need to do, or simply, find individuals who have accomplished the seemingly impossible. Then reflect to yourself, “They can; I can.”

Image courtesy of [arztsamui] /

*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

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