Boy, you got a brain full of can't!

Happy New year! Or it soon will be.
I get all my best ideas from facebook lately..
that's where the quote up there came from...
No, it isn't some old witticism from an uncle...or something my Grammy used to say.
It's something that popped into my head while talking to a person I  happen to be related to.
(You can't pick your relatives, can you? can you.....sigh.)
In this case....it's a cousin by marriage.
Here are some examples of his thinking..
I do this because when the thinking is this egregious, I have no problem exposing it.
Here is his excuse as to why he can't get a job.
(keep in mind I have changed NOTHING in either form or content...this is aaaaalll him.)
 " if I get a job n bust my ass for minimum wage well make less money than just having state assiatance"
 "I grew up poor. I'm still growing up poor. N iv realised that your better off having parents with nice jobs than even trying cuz they will just shit on u. Yes fucki.g try. But no matter what. Wothout a fuckton of luck your going to get stonewalled by some greedy capitalstic ass. N I am a hardcore
socialist but I would also love to work for our government but honestly if I worked in public office I would find it un"constitutional" in a personal way to earn more than minimum wage. And trus me I've seen first hand that we are not free to succeed. Yah. 40 years ago we cud. But nowadays its 70% who you know 10% what u can get away with and 20% what you know. That's the formula for true capitalism. Succeeding in perso.al greed no matter what the cost.

Now I do this...not to pick on socialists. (or even his atrocious spelling and grammar)
I do it to make a point.
"We" (he and I) grew up the same way.
My 'father' abandoned us.
 My mom worked crappy minimum wage jobs. 
The difference? 
 My mom believed in hard work and owning your mistakes.
She also never would have allowed this much whine without some cheese.
But I digress.
You see...he considers it greedy to work for  a living, but living off of other people is okay with him. 
My mom had help, had public assistance...but it was necessary, and when she got back on her feet she stopped. She worked all the way through. It's not that he can't work, it's that he WON'T work.

After I finished reading all of his excuses...
That was the phrase that popped into my head.
The title of this blog..
He has a mind full of "cant's"...
He is my daughter's age.
She will be supporting him with her tax dollars.
My daughter who has succeeded...not because we 'know anyone' or because she has been lucky.
She hasn't succeeded because we are unbelievably wealthy.
She has succeeded because:
She has been diligent.
She has worked hard.
She has sacrificed and will continue to do so.
Even my ten year old said..
"Everyone knows you have to work hard to get ahead'..
I said, "How do you know that?"
And Kate says, "You say it ALL the time!"
And I do. 
I believe it.

I took a long hard look at the old me.
I sounded like that once.
I was that mired in "can't"...once.
I was CONVINCED I couldn't. lose. weight.
Nothing could have convinced me otherwise.
It was depressing, and awful.
But the thing is...I never really tried.
I thought I tried...but I was trying to find a magic pill.
and when the magic pill didn't work I would try the quick fix diet.
The idea that it would take a long time, that I would have to sacrifice and change?
That idea never seemed like a very good one.
I was convinced I didn't have what it took.
I didn't want to change me....I wanted life to change.
I wanted food to be calorie free..
I wanted my body to decide to magically shed my fat.
I would dream about being thin, and then wake up fat.
I would be angry and depressed...
and I would talk badly to myself...
I would make excuses to myself..
I would eat bad food and feel worse.
And none of that DID A DAMN THING.

And then luckily, one day POOF?
It wasn't a one day thing..it was a cascade of reality....
I changed one thing..my marriage....by saying out loud what I wanted...
to the person who could actually do something about it...my husband..
It turns out that what  I wanted to change most, I changed about me...
The only person I can control is ME.
Once I got a taste of what it was to change something for the better, to realize that the locus of control is WITHIN ME....
well, that is when the tumblers began to fall into place.
What he doesn't understand, and for a long time what I didn't understand....is that you can't control your father, or your mother, or really anything or anyone around you.
You can't control others...
You control YOU.
You control how you act and react.
I still remember reading this quote:
...Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
That quote is from Viktor Frankl...a holocaust survivor...and someone who would know what it means to choose your attitude in difficult situations.
Whether or not you feel fat today...well, that shouldn't determine whether you eat crap or not.
Whether your husband loves you or doesn't.
Whether your father was a good father, or your mother showed you what hard work was...
This isn't their life, it's yours..and at the end of the day, you are the one who has got to look back on it and live with what you did or didn't accomplish.
And I didn't want fat to define me.
I looked in that mirror and said "OH HELL NO."
And I no longer accepted that being fat was my 'destiny'..any more than being a loser who doesn't work is my cousin's destiny.
Whether you think you can't or you can...your right.
And you can change that brain full of can't into a brain full of "can" like this.
You are who you think you are.
You are worth what you think you are worth..
and you can do what you think you can do.
Here is to 2012.
Chris out.


Robin said...

I am not convinced that you and facebook are a good match. However, this was a great post. Sadly, way too many people think like your cousin. Very frustrating. And you can't change it. That is a mindset. You called it right when you called it "can't." People who embrace the can't mindset about jobs embrace it about lots of other things, too. Usually they are your negative thinkers, energy suckers, people who will eat up all of your good energy if you let them. It is best to avoid those people like plague. Sad but true.

Christine said...

lol What, are you saying I don't excel at 30 word blurbs. lololol....I am finding depth in shallowness robin...it's the new 'deep'. lol.

Rettakat said...

Superb post, and timely. A lot of people are gearing up with the new year and all. It brought to mind two favorite quotes:

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude."
- Thomas Jefferson

"The most handicapped person in the world is a negative thinker." Heather Whitestone, former Miss America...she is deaf.

Happy New Year!

downsizers said...

This topic sure does push my buttons. Ask your cousin to tell you where socialism has ever worked - he won't be able to. It goes against human nature for the achievers to support the moochers. There are people who legitimately need help. They are not the ones we are talking about. But to sit back and criticize the "system" and hide behind that to be a loser is pathetic. Read "Atlas Shrugged" - you will be amazed at Ayn Rand's ability to perceive the path that socialism takes a nation.

Hanlie said...

All things worth having are worth sweating and sacrificing for. Great post, Chris!

karen@fitnessjourney said...

Whiners, excuse makers, those who blame everyone and everything for their shortcomings get on my last nerve. How you managed to got tell him to get off his lazy bum-and buy a dictionary-shows extreme self-control.

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

There are already so many good comments here that I whole-heartedly agree with. And much kinder said than I would probably have done, truthfully. I just have so little patience for excuses and those who give them regularly. I have met so many cool people who have tough things to overcome and they don't make excuses... those whiners who seem to be getting so much publicity these days- they're the same people who will never succeed no matter how much is 'given' to them.
On my wall in my music room- "Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice." -WJ Bryon
And on the wall in my guest room- "The one who reaches the top of the stairs didn't fall there." -Bergsma (a college graduation gift)
Christine, you are so patient and willing to learn from even those who seem to have nothing to teach. So good of you to share with all of us... makes even those who drive us nuts have a purpose in some way! ;)

Joy said...

I'm so tired of the word "can't". It holds so many back from doing what they were created to do!

Today I'm choosing to say I can!!

Keep focused!

rosiemomma said...

Fantastic. Really. Thank you. I'm going to make my teenager read this post.