I really do love the message: Yes, you can! And the Spanish translation Si Se Puede! Those are great and gently empowering – perhaps too gently though. I have some disappointing news to share with you aspiring butt kickers and high performers. It’s not enough.
Yes you can still leaves open the option that you don’t have to. Not doing something appears to be a totally reasonable option with this phrase. Complacency is certainly a legal right after all! When you were born the world was excited for the possibilities of what you could do and what you would chose to do, but unless you had an abusive guardian, nobody told you exactly how you must or should go about that. You have the freedom of choice to live your life exactly as you would like to live it!
Or so it appears.
You see, there are other people and forces around you that also have choices and sometimes those choices impede or contradict your own choices, i.e. your morals, those you chose or have been imprinted to love etc. To allow those contradictory forces to go unchecked is, in fact, against your own choices! And anyway, as Cataline warned the Roman Senate in his Orations Against Ceasar “in your silence (to injustice) you shout approval.”
“Aye there’s the rub” Hamlet warns us. You are indeed free to chose as you wish to think feel and do, but if your actions or words contradict your self chosen convictions, then you betray yourself, your loved ones, your community.
As a behavioralist and motivational expert, I do empathize with the exhausting nature of the fight to uphold your own mission and vision, especially in this (strangely) approval obsessed environment we have developed.
The option to give in to the pressures of the norm, to reach for merely the average, to succumb to complacency, to look at our hopes, dreams and aspirations and allow ourselves to only say “yes I can” implies the message “but I don’t have to.”
That option, that choice, that complacency my dear friends and readers is not a passive choice that bothers no one. No, that is a form of abuse called neglect.
As any child who was hungry because his parents didn’t go shopping for him will tell you, that’s not okay. There are many versions of the same, but I’m not here to give you a summary of abuse and neglect research – I’m a motivational expert after all! I’m here to tell you that the answer to how to achieve your butt kicking, high performing aspirations is simple – don’t neglect; do attend to your morals, your loved ones (including you!) and your goals. Only you are equipped with your beautiful mind and convictions. Only you can do this as well as you can. So I’ll propose a change to the phrase:
Of Course (you can) and You Must! │ כמובן וחייבים │ Por Supuesto Todos Deben!
We’ve been waiting for you There’s no time to spare.