The AND Proposition

AND. Simple little word, isn’t it?

We don’t like it in sentence construction. It signals run-on-sentence hell. We like it everywhere else. In the canon of powerful words, AND ranks right up there with YES, NO. As a form of thought construction, AND heralds the opportunity-creating, mind-expanding, value-adding thought. Do you use the word AND often enough?

It is my job to talk myself into things, not out of them.

I remember this phrase as I chat with my friend George McDonald about life’s third acts. We banter about the notion of retirement. Whether retirement is an at all desirable thing. What life in advancing age might look like. What choices we might make.

It was an AND conversation.

I could do nothing, and I could travel the world.
I could do nothing, and I could write my first novel.
I could do nothing, and I could start a whole new business.
AND I could continue to work as before.

AND is a way of talking ourselves into things.

AND allows for contradictions and doesn’t try to fix them. Life is messy AND I can try something different. AND creates mental opportunities. It creates them without doing battle with that which we don’t like, that which we can’t change, that which we believe to be impossible.

AND does not seek to oppose. AND does not seek to better something else. AND refrains from EITHER/OR thinking. AND merely seeks to add. This is so, AND we can also do that.

In every conversation, every one of us is ultimately a mind-expander or a possibility-killer. Never. But. Research shows. Experience suggests. The verbal ammunition of the possibility killers.

Yes, let us conduct due-diligence before committing to a significant project. Let us do so with an AND mindset. I’m excited about this project, AND let’s give it due diligence.

To help it be successful. Not to kill it.

Do you use the word AND often enough? This week, as new projects and ideas are put forth at work and in every other sphere of your life, be a mind-expander. Allow for contradictions. Expand with AND.

AND notice how expanding language energizes every conversation you have.

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Achim Nowak is an author, speaker, C-Suite coach, international authority on personal presence. His book "The Moment: A Practical Guide to Creating a Mindful Life in a Distracted World" (New Page Books) has just been published. His previous books have become prized resources for entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 executives around the globe. Achim and his work have been featured on 60 Minutes, Fox News, NPR, in The New York Times and The Miami Herald.