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Am. Will. Did.

Could, should, & would

In the English language, I find it fascinating that most words have a root word. Meaning there is another word that informs our current language. Also there are words that formed the root words. To me, this is one of the biggest significant contributors of culture. It's part of conditioning every culture implores.

Words have meanings beyond their meanings.

This time of year begs the articulation of could, should, and would. It’s telling that we have language that’s meant to “miss the mark.”

I stay away from them. I don’t want to speak from them nor do I want to project them on anyone else. My suggestion: eliminate them with precision, & make the decision.


Let’s begin.

“Could” derives from the Old English word cuðe. It is the past tense of “cunnan” which means “to be able”; the present-tense form is “can.”

“Should” came from “sceolde.” Sceolde is the past tense of the Old English word “sceal,” meaning “ought to” or “must” as well as “owe.”

“Would” is a derivative of the Old English term “wolde,” which is the past tense and past subjunctive of “willan,” meaning “to will,” and is the past tense of will.

Why does this matter?

I’d love to get a little woowoo with you (maybe later, ok, later), and I’ll stick to the script.

One of my favorite reads is You Are The Placebo Effect by Dr. Joe Dispenza. He’s a medical doctor, originally a chiropractor, who has found himself surrounded with wild stories of healing associated with his methodology.

His story begins as a 23 year old fresh chiropractor competing in a triathlon in California. He had a little practice in La Jolla California.

He crushed the swim and was on the second stage biking into a corner passing two competitors. Unfortunately, an older woman in a Bronco didn’t see him, and took him down.

Now, he found himself hanging onto the front bumper of the Bronco. Once she realized she hit someone, she stopped sending him another 20 yards. Bloodies, broken, and looking up at the sky wondering where his life just turned.

Next he finds himself getting advice from Surgeons, chiropractors, and other MDs alike giving him the same prognosis based on his condition. He had multiple vertebrae fractures which drove these prognoses.

What Joe found so compelling was the advice he was receiving from colleagues was the same prognosis he would have given a patient in his position.

The problem was the solution. Two metal bars to fuse his neck and his lumbar spine if I remember correctly. He couldn’t bring himself to believe his life would be stunted by fusing his spine. He knew the life that led him if he made the choice to get surgery and fuse his spine in two places.

So he did what no doctor had told him. He left the care of the hospital and moved in with friends and he thought to himself, if he can focus on creating movement and awareness in his body, he would continue until he gained his strength back.

He did.

By 8 weeks he was walking.

By 10 weeks he was training again.

By 12 weeks he was back in his practice.

Bonkers. I get chills every time I think about it. He healed himself. His body took care of itself.

Nice story, what does this have to do with words, Matt?

Joe's perspective was encapsulated in the realness of the situation and saturated with optimism to find another solution.

The presence we bring to your language brings clarity to the dialogue we are having. This includes dialogue with self, dialogue with friends, family, clients, partners, loved ones.

A declaration is made when we speak in the now.

Another thing that happens is ownership.

From this we can gain another adjective to describe our demeanor - “Unfuckwitable.” Another tremendous human Vishen Lakhiani coined that term.

The next time we are faced with decisions, it is either no or… I am, I will, I did.

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