Happiness Hack #33 Change “I Can’t…” to “I Choose Not To…”

Using the words “I can’t” limits your autonomy. Autonomy is the feeling that your life and activities are self-chosen. Research has shown that autonomy can have a greater impact on our happiness than money. Saying “I can’t” out loud or even in your self-talk insidiously limits your feelings of autonomy and as a result your happiness.

Using the words “I can’t” creates an unknown force that prevents you from doing something. So instead of feeling autonomy and the resulting happiness, you feel limited. The more times you use the words “I can’t” the more boxed in you feel.

Take control of your life and your happiness. Try using the words “I choose not to…” instead of “I can’t.” Change a few words and you can change your happiness.


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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

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